Recipe: Kuwait’s Epic Tomato Sauce (Daqqus)

Have you ever noticed how salty tomato sauce can be? I have nightmares about it (my husband has high blood pressure so I need to moderate his salt as best I can).  Making homemade sauce is a great solution. And, let me tell you,  even if you don’t have to watch your salt intake (lucky!), you’ll feel extra epic when you learn how easy it is to make your own sauce. And, while I love a good blast of Italy, today we’re not talking about long, slow-cooked, browned up Italian-style sauce. Today is about Kuwait. Today is about duqqus.

It’s easier than skydiving.

It’s easier than horseback riding.

It’s the opposite of rocket science.

Do it and take a lil’ trip to Kuwait today via your stovetop.


3 whole tomatoes
2-3 whole garlic
2 Tbsp tomato paste
spicy pepper to kick it up (optional) – I used part of a small poblano
1/4- 1/2 cup water, or as needed to get the blender going


If you have any spicy peppers, this is the time to use them. Tulsa, in late October, defies logic and still maintains temperatures in the 80’s. So, we have a few happy poblanos still growing.

They are protected by our guard cat, Malky (incidentally named after Elfeba’s cat in Wicked).  He accepts a twenty minute cuddle per pepper. An even trade, he says.Quarter the tomatoes and add to blender with the rest of the ingredients.

Pulse until a smooth mixture forms.

To be honest, at this point it will look all wrong. It will be liquidy and p-p-p-pink, but have no fear. You’re going to cook the heck out of it, which changes everything.

Place on stove and simmer uncovered until thickened to desired consistency. About 45 min-1 hour. Meanwhile go for a walk in Kuwait at night. Glimmer, glimmer, and sparkle.

Kuwait City, photo by Mohammad Alatar. Walking in Al-Salmiya, photo by Steve & Jem Copley.

The sauce will quickly turn the deep, lovely red we are so accustomed to. Add more salt and pepper, if needed.

When it’s that easy, why buy jarred?

Serve with a giant, blissful platter of Machboos.

Or “quadruple x1000″ the recipe and go for a swim.

That could be interesting.

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  1. But Sasha, what did you make with it? and even though it might be easy, that’s a lot of time and ekspense for those of us that don’t need to watch our salt intake, as opposed to 39 cents at the store…the electricity alone for cooking an hour would be more than that! but you are right about them putting way too much salt in every little thing, especially canned goods. those ingredients would have come to about $3. That is why “they” have us hooked into buying, instead of making, and why we end up getting so much salt in our diet, darn it!!!

  2. Hahahhaha Sasha, swimming in the tomato sauce really sounds funny ;-)
    Thanks for sharing this recipe it’s always great to have an alternative to Italian tomato sauces!

  3. I’ll use my snorkel as a straw! Love tomatoes!

  4. Listen you guys, you killed me with this recipe and Kuwaiti food, first, I have to say that, I absolutely love Kuwait and Kuwaitis, for I lived in Kuwait for 6 years in eighties , despite having no entertainment in western style but there were a lot of singer and bands sponsoring that you could go and enjoy the bands playing all kind of musics, Kuwait was an open country by middle eastern standards and a great country, meaning women could dress like western ladies, no one would dare ti bother them, although some times some crazy bado’s would run and touch some respected ladies breasts but police was dealing them a deadly blow so they would not do it again.however, the discussion is about food and I love Kuwaiti food and Kuwaitis.

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