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Home » Food » Recipes » Middle Eastern Cousine » Al Kabsa – Traditional Saudi Rice (& Chicken) Dish

Al Kabsa – Traditional Saudi Rice (& Chicken) Dish

  • SERVINGS 8-10
    Kabsa Dish
  • 14cup butter
  • 3lbs chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces
  • 1large onion, finely chopped
  • 6garlic cloves, minced
  • 14cup tomato puree
  • 14ounces canned chopped tomatoes, un-drained (or fresh)
  • 3medium carrots, grated
  • 2whole cloves
  • 1pinch grated nutmeg
  • 1pinch ground cumin
  • 1pinch ground coriander
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 4cups hot water
  • 1chicken stock cube
  • 2 14cups basmati rice (don’t rinse or soak this)
  • 14cup raisins
  • 14cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • Kabsa Spice Mix

  • 12teaspoon saffron
  • 14teaspoon ground green cardamoms
  • 12teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12teaspoon ground allspice
  • 14teaspoon white pepper
  • 12teaspoon ground dried limes


  1. Melt butter in a large stock pot, casserole or dutch oven. Add chicken pieces, onion & garlic & sauté until onion is tender. Stir in tomato puree & simmer over a low heat for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, carrots, cloves, all the spices & salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add the water & Maggi cube.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add rice to the pot & stir carefully. (if you’re wanting to brown the chicken in the oven – remove it from the pot now & place in the preheated oven).
  4. Re-Cover & simmer for 35 – 40 minutes – adding the raisins for the last 10 minutes – or until rice is tender.
  5. Place the rice on a large serving dish, topped with the chicken & garnished with almonds. Serve with a fresh mixed salad – preferably with a little lime vinaigrette. Saudis like their Kabsa with a hot sauce called ‘Shattah’.
  6. N.B: You can also ‘finish’ the chicken pieces off in the oven by cooking them for 25 – 30 minutes at 180 C whilst the rice is cooking. (but don’t let them become dry).

By F

About Laylah Anazzal

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