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One Pot Chicken Kabsah


Chicken Kabsa, considered as the national dish of Saudi Arabia is a rice and meat dish served with fried raisins and almonds along with yoghurt sauce and green salads for the side. The name is derived from the word kabs, meaning "press" which is the technique used in cooking Kabsa. All the ingredients are added in one pot but not all at the same time. So it is not an add all and cook till done dish, but working in layers to get the flavours married perfectly.

One Pot Chicken Kabsah
(2020 images)

From my experience of dining out in Saudi, I found that Kabsah is not the same in every restaurant. Upon further internet reading, I learnt that there is more than one way of making Kabsah. The recipe I am sharing today is designed to be a one-pot chicken kabsah and the ingredients are easily available. I have also included tips and alternatives so you can make this even if you don't have all the ingredients.


Anyone with expertise in cooking ghee rice can make this one-pot Kabsah! It is much easier than our biryanis... well I feel most of the Arabic rice recipes are much easier than our dum biryani! :-) 
One Pot Chicken Kabsa

What is the difference between Kabsa, Machboos and Mandi?

Essentially they are all the same. Kabsa, considered as the national dish of Saudi Arabia is a rice and meat dish served with fried raisins and almonds along with yoghurt sauce and green salads for the side. The name is derived from the word kabs, meaning "press" which is the technique used in cooking Kabsa. The variations of Saudi Kabsah are popular in the neighbouring Gulf States of the Arabian peninsula including Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait as Machboos, meaning "to be engaged". Mandi is also a rice and meat dish originating from Yemen and means "dew" referring to the soft meat cooked in tandoor oven above the pot of rice. The three rice dish has its own spice blend - Kabsa spice mix, Baharat or Bezar and for Mandi it is Hawajj. Another definite difference I noticed is Kabsah has some shredded carrot which is not usually found in machboos and mandi. 

Click here for an easy Chicken Macbhoos recipe!

One Pot Chicken Kabsah

How to make one-pot chicken kabsah?

Keep all the ingredients listed under the recipe ready to use. Refer to the Notes section under my recipe for more details and variations. 

Heat oil in the same pot you intend to make the kabsa. You can use any oil or ghee. Fry the almonds until golden and remove.
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Fry the raisins till puffed remove and keep them aside.
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Add more oil or ghee if required and then add all the whole spices. Saute until fragrant.
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Add the chopped onions, saute until translucent.
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Add the ginger-garlic paste, saute until the raw smell of garlic wades off (~ 5mins)
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, grated carrot and mix well (~ 5 mins)
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Add the cut chicken along with all the spice powders and enough salt.
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Cook covered on medium flame until chicken turns white and oil surfaces (~10 mins)
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Add all of the water and adjust the salt. Cover and cook on low until chicken is cooked completely (~15 mins)
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Remove the chicken pieces and keep aside.
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Add the drained rice and adjust the salt.
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Cook on medium to high flame until you can see the grains on the surface (~ 5 mins). Reduce the flame to lowest.
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Place a foil or clean kitchen cloth and then cover with the tight lid. Slide a flat pan under the pot - this prevents burning of food and distributes heat evenly. Cook for 10 minutes on lowest flame. Switch off and don't disturb for another 10 minutes.
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Take the chicken pieces and grill or broil them in oven or stovetop with some butter.
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Open the pot, stir the rice.
One Pot Chicken Kabsah

Serve Kabsa topped with the grilled chicken pieces and the fried almonds and raisins along with salads and yoghurt.


(Made for 2019 Eid-ul-Fitr)

One-Pot Chicken Kabsa

Yields: 2 to 3 servings
Total time: 1 hour 40 mins

INGREDIENTS

1 and 1/2 cup basmati rice, washed and soaked for 30 mins, drained completely
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup almonds, blanched, peeled, slit, and fried till golden
1/4 cup raisins, fried till puffed
4 green cardamoms
4 cloves
2" cinnamon stick
1 loomi (dried black lime)
1 bay leaf
3 medium-sized red onion, diced finely
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
2 large tomatoes (300gms), chopped roughly 
1/2 of a small carrot (60gms), grated
1 tablespoon tomato paste
800gms whole chicken with skin, cut into 4 or 8 pieces
1/2 tablespoon black pepper powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice powder* 
salt to taste
2 and 3/4 cup water 

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in a wide-mouthed and deep pot with a flat bottom on a medium flame
  2. Fry the prepped almonds until golden brown and remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside 
  3. Fry the raisins till puffed remove and keep them aside 
  4. Add all the whole spices and saute until fragrant 
  5. Add the chopped onions, saute until translucent 
  6. Add the ginger-garlic paste, saute until the raw smell of garlic wades off (~ 5mins)
  7. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, grated carrot and mix well (~ 5 mins)
  8. Add the cut chicken along with all the spice powders and enough salt 
  9. Cook covered on medium flame until chicken turns white and oil surfaces (~10 mins)
  10. Add all of the water and adjust the salt
  11. Cover and cook on low until chicken is cooked completely (~15 mins)
  12. Remove the chicken pieces and keep aside 
  13. Add the drained rice and adjust the salt
  14. Cook on medium to high flame until you can see the grains on the surface (~ 5 mins)
  15. Reduce the flame to lowest
  16. Place a foil or clean kitchen cloth and then cover with the tight lid
  17. Slide a flat pan under the pot - this prevents burning of food and distributes heat evenly
  18. Cook for 10 minutes on lowest flame
  19. Switch off and don't disturb for another 10 minutes
  20. Take the chicken pieces and grill or broil them in oven or stovetop with some butter 
  21. Serve Kabsa topped with the grilled chicken pieces and the fried almonds and raisins along with salads and yoghurt 
NOTES: 
  • I have used some whole spices like cardamom, cloves and cinnamon but you can use them in powder form and add them to the chicken along with other spice powders. If using powder form, then use 1/4 teaspoon of each.
  • *allspice is not garam masala. You may use nutmeg powder instead or skip it. You may skip all the spice powders I have used and use store-bought kabsa spice mix instead. Use 2 teaspoons of kabsa spice mix for this recipe.  
  • You may add some orange zest or rinds along with shredded carrots for a different flavour
One Pot Chicken Kabsa

TRIED THIS RECIPE? 

I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe then do share the recipe link on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Follow me on Instagram and mention @fashfaiz or tag #fashfaiz so that I can see your creations!

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