Chicken kabsa – Turn your next dinner into a feast with this Arabian style chicken and rice. Spiced grilled chicken and flavorful rice makes this the ultimate choice for any special occasion. Channel your inner chef, and cook up a storm for friends and family.
When it comes to food, I’m always on the hunt for new inspirations and ideas. I think the ideal way to learn more about food is by exploring new cuisines and cultures. The world of culinary adventure is open right in front of you. You just need to wear your apron and get started.
My inspiration for this recipe comes from one of our trips to Dubai a few years ago. A magnificent modern city that’ll mesmerize you with its ultra modern architecture. Not to mention the classic Emirati cuisine. Just phenomenal. And the best part? A wonderful day spent with good old friends. I returned back with a big smile and wonderful memories for a lifetime. Truth to be told, I’m a memory keeper.
Ok, back to the chicken kabsa recipe. This is basically a classic recipe from Saudi Arabia. But, you can find different variations of this dish in the neighbouring countries too. Chicken and rice are cooked in a beautiful spice mix making this one of the best one pot rice recipes ready to entertain you and your friends on any special occasion. To be exact, this kabsa recipe is by far one of my all-time favorite rice recipes.
I used basmati rice in this recipe as it adds a whole new level of flavor to this dish. Of course, you can use any kind of long grain rice, but basmati is my favorite.
For this chicken kabsa recipe, you’ll need large pieces of chicken. I cut a large chicken into 6 pieces. We’ll be cooking chicken in two stages. First in the pan and then on the grill. And that’s the secret of the unbeatable taste of this dish.
There’s one important element that makes both the chicken and rice so delicious. Kabsa spice. You can either buy it from Middle Eastern grocery stores, or make your own homemade version. This spice mix is basically a blend of ground cardamom, ground white pepper, saffron, ground cinnamon, ground all spice and dried whole lime powder.
Alright, now to the cooking process. Start out by frying onions, ginger, garlic and green chilies until the onions turn golden brown. We’ll add a few whole dried spices to this mixture including bay leaves, cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick. Lightly fry them in oil.
Tomatoes are added in two different forms in this chicken kabsa recipe. One, tomato purée. Two, canned diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes. Apart from the kabsa spice mix, you’ll also need ground nutmeg, ground black pepper, ground cumin and ground coriander.
Brown chicken in the spices, take them out of the pan, and then grill them separately. This will give the chicken pieces a nice crispy outer layer. When cooking rice, make sure you don’t add too much water to prevent it from turning mushy.
And there you go. Done. A scrumptious meal for your next gathering. Why not give it a go?
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom (cardamom powder)
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper (white pepper powder)
- ¼ tsp saffron
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon (cinnamon powder)
- ½ tsp ground all spice
- ½ tsp dried whole lime powder
- 2 tbsp oil or butter
- 3 onions, sliced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger (ginger paste)
- 1 tbsp minced garlic (garlic paste)
- 1 green chili
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 6 cloves
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp tomato puree (tomato paste)
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg (nutmeg powder)
- ½ tsp ground black pepper (black pepper powder)
- ¼ tsp ground cumin (cumin powder)
- ½ tsp ground coriander (coriander powder)
- 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 200 g canned diced tomatoes (or 3 tomatoes chopped)
- 2 chicken cubes
- 1½ kg whole chicken, cut into 6 pieces
- 3 cups basmati rice, rinsed
- ¼ cup raisins
- Salt to taste
- Raisins, to garnish (optional)
- Slivered almonds, to garnish (optional)
- To make kabsa spice mix, combine together cardamom, white pepper, saffron, cinnamon, all spice and lime powder in a bowl. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the onions turn golden brown. Add bay leaves, cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick. Fry for a minute.
- Stir in tomato purée. Add ground nutmeg, ground black pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander and kabsa spice. Season with salt. Fry the spices for a minute. Add carrots and diced tomatoes. Stir, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add chicken cubes and chicken pieces. Brown chicken, turning occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan. Set aside.
- Add rice and raisins. Pour in 4 cups water. Season with salt. Bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with lid, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat grill. Grill chicken for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Serve rice with grilled chicken.
- Whole lime powder is available in Middle Eastern grocery stores
- Kabsa spice mix recipe adapted from allrecipes.com
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