Zebaidy, or silver pomfret, is one of the most popular among Kuwaitis. The recipe below includes black lemon (or loomi), which can be bought whole or ground from the spice section of Arabic or Persian markets. It is great with fish, and can be added to soups and stews for added flavor.

Mutabag Zubaidi


2 medium zebaidy fish

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon tumeric

1 teaspoon cardamom powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder



1/4 cup oil

1 medium chopped onion

2 cups rice

2 teaspoons salt

2 whole black lemons



2 tablespoons oil

1 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup raisins

1 teaspoon black lemon powder

1/2 teaspoon reserved spices


Mix the first four spices and reserve 1/2 teaspoon for the topping.


To prepare fish, wash well, drain, and cut gashes in the fleshy sides. Then sprinkle with salt and rub with spices, and let it rest in the refrigerator for one hour. Fry in oil and drain.


To prepare rice, wash it first and soak in tepid water for half an hour. Drain well. Fry chopped onion in oil. Add rice, salt, lemon, and 3 1/2 cups of hot water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until water is absorbed.


To prepare topping, sauté onions and raisins in oil, then add reserved spices and sprinkle with salt.


To serve, put rice on a serving plate, garnish with topping, and lay fish over the top.