How to make a Delicious Saudi Kabsah?

Kabsah is one of the traditional Saudi Dishes, made popularly in Jordan and Saudi Arabia and it’s also called the national dish of the Kingdom. It is one of the traditional and super yummy dishes loved by the Saudi locals as well as the foreigners visiting the place. 

The dish basically comprises of basmati long grain rice cooked with chicken or lamb and sometimes beef and shrimps with a flavor of mixed spices giving your taste buds a feel of spicy chili rice and an amazing texture of almonds, sultanas, and pine nuts. Mouthwatering. Slurp! [irp]

It is like the amazing biryani made in Indo-Pak countries but with a bit fewer spices comparatively.  The spices are the main essence of the recipe which gives its distinct flavor to Kabsah which includes;

Spices for Saudi Kabsah

  • Black pepper 1table spoon
  • Cloves ¼ tablespoon
  • Cumin ½ tablespoon
  • Coriander ½ tablespoon
  • Cardamom ½ tablespoon
  • Saffron ½ tablespoon
  • Turmeric ½ tablespoon
  • Cinnamon ½ tablespoon
  • Black lime
  • Peppercorns
  • Bay leaves
  • Nutmeg

Ingredients for Saudi Kabsah: The cooking time may reach up to an hour. So, the main ingredients for the unmaliciously recipe are;

  • Onion chopped- 2 cups
  • Garlic ½ tablespoon
  • Grated ginger- ½ tablespoon
  • Tomatoes chopped- 2 cups
  • Butter or Olive oil ⅓ cup
  • Green or red Chili
  • Choice of meat (Chicken 15 pieces)
  • Water
  • Spices (mentioned above or the Arabic ones named Baharat)
  • Salt as per taste
  • Rice 1½ cups, soaked in water for 45 minutes
  • For topping: Almonds, halved and Raisins- ⅓ cup

Procedure to make delicious Kabsah

MEAT: First, cut tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Chop them finely into small pieces. Heat oil or butter in the cooking pot and add onions, garlic, red and green chilies. Heat it on medium flame and stir until golden brown.

An amazing aroma will just bring water in your mouth. Now add tomatoes and stir them until soft on a medium flame for 3 minutes. Now add the chosen meat, whether chicken or lamb in the pot. Add all the spices and mix it well. 

Add some quantity of water such that it covers the meat and cover it with the lid until the meat is tender and cooked completely. Remove it from the flame and keep it on one side.

RICE: Rinse the rice with water and drain the extra water through a sieve. Add rice in the cooking pot containing the meat mixture together with only 1 cup of water at this stage. Make sure the water is half an inch above the level of the rice. 

Cover it with lid. After 20 minutes make sure that the rice is well cooked and soft and all the water is absorbed and vanished. Serve it in a big plate or tray which is Saudi style. Serve the rice with the meat piece on the top. 

Fry almonds and sultanas in an almost 1table spoon of oil in a frying pan and garnish the dish with it. The meat can also be prepared in a different way. It can either be BBQ before or cooked in a pressure cooker or grilled on stones.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.