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Kabsa or Kabseh Recipe (Chicken & Rice)

Kabsa (Arabic: كبسة‎) is a family of rice dishes that are served mostly in Saudi Arabia - where it is commonly regarded as a national dish - and the other Arab states of the Persian Gulf. In places like Bahrain and Kuwait the dish is popularly known as Majboos (Arabic: مجبوس) and in the United Arab Emirates as Machboos (Arabic: مكبوس), but with different spices and cooked in a different way.

These dishes are mainly made from a mixture of spices, rice (usually basmati), meat and vegetables. There are many kinds of Kabsa and each kind has a uniqueness about it. Pre-mixed Kabsa spices are now available under several brand names. These reduce preparation time but may have a flavour distinct from traditional Kabsa. The spices used in Kabsa are largely responsible for its taste; these are generally Black Pepper, Cloves, Cardamom, Saffron, Cinnamon, Black lime, Bay Leaves and Nutmeg. The main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat, such as chicken, goat, lamb, camel, or sometimes beef, fish, and shrimp. The spices, rice and meat may be augmented with Almonds, Pine nuts, Onions and Tomatoes.

Meat for Kabsa can be cooked in various ways. A popular way of preparing meat is called Mandi. This is an ancient technique, whereby meat is barbecued in a deep hole in the ground that is covered while the meat cooks. Another way of preparing and serving meat for Kabsa is Mathbi, where seasoned meat is grilled on flat stones that are placed on top of burning embers. A third technique, Madghoot, involves cooking the meat in a Pressure cooker.

Although Kabsa is not a traditional Mediterranean Food, Most Mediterranean Chefs or Cooks, Include this dish in their reportaire of recipes, because it is that good.


Serves: 4-6
Difficulty: Medium
Prep and Cook time: 1 hour

2 cups long grain Uncle Ben's rice
1 1/2 cup chopped ripe tomato
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup white raisons soaked in 1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground corriander
10 cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp 7 spices
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
6 tbs butter
2 tbs olive oil

Pre-cooked chicken in broth:
2 chicken breasts or 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks
6 cups water
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp salt

In a large pot place chicken, water, onion, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and salt and let cook covered on low heat for about 1 1/2 hour.

In a large bowl rinse rice and pour off excess water, mix in seasonings.

In another large pot add 2tbs olive oil and 1 tbs butter, then add chopped onions and chopped tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Next add rice, mix and then add 4 cups of chicken broth from the cooked chicken, stir and then add 3 tbs butter. Let come to a boil and then turn down to low heat, cover and let cook for 45 minutes. In a small pan, add 2 tbs butter and stir in nuts and raisins, let cook until all are evenly brown, set aside for garnish. In the mean time, pull apart cooked chicken and remove any bones.

After 45 minutes, fluff rice with a fork and let sit another 10 minutes.

To present dish, pour out the rice into a large serving dish, place pieces of chicken on top and then put the nut and raisin mixture on top of that. Serve with yogurt or salad.

Source - DedeMed

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  1. Asalamualaykum pls post a picture of this recipe so I can save it to Pinterest

    1. Asalamu alaykum.

      Now you can save it to Pinterest.


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