Kabseh
(Spiced Rice with Chicken)

Kabseh, or kabsa, is a Saudi Arabian dish that consists of meat, rice, carrots, and spices, lots and lots of spices! There are many variations of this dish from neighboring countries in the Arabian Gulf. 

I personally love to make this dish when I have large family gatherings. I don't really know why, but it tastes better when you make this dish to feed a lot of people. It holds a permanent place on my dinner table because of it's immense flavors! 

Kabseh can be made with chicken, beef, or lamb stew - it really depends on what you love. My favorite is kabseh with chicken, but really, it's amazing with beef and lamb, as well. 

You start building flavor by sauteeing onions, garlic, and carrots in oil and ghee. You can't just say kabseh is flavorful because of the spices - the garlic and onion base is a star in this recipe as well. 

Serve this amazing dish with a salad or my cucumber and yogurt salad - trust me, you'll go for seconds, or even thirds! 

Sahtain! 

Kabseh 

Servings: 8 

Prep Time: 20 minutes 

Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes 

Ingredients: 

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin removed

2-1/2 cups basmati rice 

4 carrots, peeled and finely diced 

1 small onion, finely diced 

3 cloves garlic, minced 

3 tablespoons vegetable oil 

1 tablespoon ghee 

4 bay leaves 

4 whole cardamom pods

2 cinnamon sticks 

1 tablespoon tomato paste 

Kabseh Spices: 

2 tablespoons 7 spices 

2-1/2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 

1 teaspoon safflower, or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional) 

For Garnish (optional): 

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts 

1/4 cup golden raisins 

Directions: 

1) Fill a large pot with water and add chicken, bay leaves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks. On medium heat, bring the water to a boil. Skim any fat that rises to the top. Let the chicken simmer for 40-45 minutes, or until fully cooked. 

2) Once the chicken is cooked, remove from pot. Reserve 4 cups of the chicken broth and set aside. 

3) In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil and ghee on medium heat. Sautee the onions and garlic, until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. 

4) Mix in the reserved chicken broth, tomato paste and the kabseh spices to the carrots and onions and stir. Let it come to a boil on medium heat. 

5) Add the chicken and rice and mix. Cover. 

6) Cook the kabseh on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. 

7) Remove from heat and let it sit for 20 minutes before serving. 

8) When ready to serve, transfer to a serving plate and top with toasted pine nuts and raisins. 

Notes: 

- If you prefer, you can add the raisins to the kabseh with the chicken. The contrast in flavor from the sweetness of the raisins is wonderful. If you're not a fan of the sweet and salty mix, feel free to omit the raisins from the recipe entirely. 

- When making this dish with beef or lamb, it's much easier to cook the meat in a pressure cooker to save you time! 

- I recommend using bone-in meat because it adds flavor to the broth.