Machboos or Kabsah, spiced meat cooked with rice, is served across Saudi Arabia and in
many Arab states. This version features chicken pieces marinated in Arabian Biz’har
(spice blend), turmeric, chilli powder, garlic and lime juice
800g chicken pieces, skin removed
1 tbsp Spice Fusion Arabian Biz’har
2 tbsp garlic, crushed
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup Basmati rice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 brown onions, finely sliced
3 medium tomatoes, finely diced
1½ cups chicken stock
1 small cinnamon stick
6 bruised cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
½ tsp saffron dissolved in 2 tbsp boiling water
Toasted slivered almonds and coriander leaves
Place chicken pieces into a glass bowl. Add Arabian Biz’har, garlic and lime juice and massage well
into meat. Set aside.
Wash and drain rice several times until water is clear then soak in a bowl covered with fresh water.
Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan, preferably non-stick, and fry onions until golden brown
and caramelised, 15-20 minutes; remove and set aside.
If necessary, add more oil to the pan and fry chicken pieces until browned all over.
Add tomatoes, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, bay leaf, half of the reserved onions and salt
and pepper to taste. Stir well before adding chicken stock, then cover with a lid and gently
simmer for 30 minutes. Drain rice and carefully sprinkle over the chicken, but do not stir.
Place foil tightly over saucepan, then put lid back on and simmer for 15 minutes.
Turn off heat and pour saffron water over the rice. Do not stir. Put lid on again and let stand
for 15 minutes. Serve with a garnish of almonds, coriander leaves and reserved