Posted on: August 3, 2020 Posted by: Deepsikha Comments: 0
Arabian Kabsa

We celebrated Eid ul-Adha last Saturday in India and this is the special dish for the occasion that my husband prepared. My Mr. Husband is a great cook and I sometimes genuinely feel that he too should have a recipe blog. This guy know quite a lot about cooking and the non vegetarian exotic dishes are his speciality. I don’t mind documenting his recipes on my blog. Anything good should be well preserved and I am doing the same. I respect guys who are above chauvinism. Growing up, I have always seen my Baba helping Maa in household chores whenever he gets time. This is “her job” and this is “his” are something that I never understand. My husband cooks well and he is far better then me when it comes to home management. I am so proud.

See Other Chicken Recipes Here


Coming to this awesome dish, Al Kabsa or Kabsa is a traditional Saudi Arabian rice dish and is typically made with big pieces of chicken. This is an one-pot-meal and is often made in bulk for a big family/group. This dish is flavourful, super tasty and absolutely wholesome. In this dish, sometimes, chicken does get replaced by other meats. But for best and authentic taste, one should always stick to chicken. Here, the rice is cooked in the same water in which chicken is cooked. No, it is not Yakhni Pulao, not even similar to that.

Before making Arabian Kabsa, my husband did quite a good research about the dish but finally one of his distant cousin, who stays in Saudi, has shared the recipe with him. After that, there is no looking back. He arranged all the materials needed and made it just amazing. Eid is always celebrated grandly in our house and this time, amidst of this ongoing pandemic and not going out, this dish itself made it grand. While he made Arabian Kabsa, I made Sheer Khurma for Eid.


All said and done, let me now tell you quickly how he made this delectable Arabian Kabsa. The recipe is as follows.
P.S. Choose large pieces of chicken for this dish – the whole thighs with drumsticks, whole breast pieces and so on. A whole 1kg to 1.5kg chicken should not be cut more than 4-5 pieces. Also, this dish is cooked in Dum style (slow cooking in a sealed pot) and we used clay pot for cooking this. Clay pot is not mandatory, but recommended for this.


  • 1.2 kg chicken, cut into 4 large pieces
  • 400 gm basmati rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
  • 3 tomato, puree
  • 3 onion, chopped
  • 5 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, crushed
  • 10 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1.5 tea-spoon red chilli powder (adjust according to tolerance)
  • 1.5 tea-spoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 tea-spoon black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tea-spoon lemon zest
  • 1 tea-spoon kewra water
  • 3 table-spoon ghee (2 + 1)
  • warm water, as required
  • salt, according to taste

Whole Spices:

  • 4-5 small bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick (1 inch)
  • 6 clove
  • 6 green cardamom
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 javitri
  • 1 tea-spoon black peppercorn
  • 1 tea-spoon cumin seed

For Garnishing:

  • 1 handful cashew nut
  • 1 handful raisin
  • 1 tea-spoon ghee


  • Heat 2 table-spoon ghee in a clay pot and add all the Whole Spices. Allow them to splutter.
  • Add onion and sauté until golden.
  • Add crushed ginger and garlic and stir until raw smell completely goes off.
  • Now, add chicken pieces and over low to medium flame, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add tomato puree and green chilli and give a proper mix.
  • Stir and cook the complete thing until chicken starts releasing moisture.
  • Add salt, red chilli powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder and stir cook for few more minutes or until the moisture dries up.
  • Now, add water and give a quick mix. Cover and cook over low to medium flame until the chicken is well cooked. Please note that water quantity should be such that after the chicken is cooked there should be sufficient water remaining to cook the rice in it.
  • Once the chicken is properly cooked, remove the pieces and keep aside.
  • Add soaked basmati rice in the same water and add lemon zest and kewra water. Check for salt, if required more, add to this stage. Also, if needed, you can add some extra warm water for the rice to get cooked.
  • Seal the clay pot properly with aluminium foil and put it on dum for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add 1 table-spoon ghee in a tawa (flat pan) and roast the chicken pieces one-by-one until they get nice golden brown crust. Remove and keep aside.
  • In the same tawa heat 1 tea-spoon ghee and roast cashew and raisin. Remove and keep aside.
  • Now, go back to the rice and once stipulated time is over, turn off the flame and remove the seal. The rice should be well cooked and fluffy.
  • Shift the rice to a large plate or tray. Top it with the roasted chicken pieces. Garnish with roasted cashew and raisin.
  • Your Arabian Kabsa is ready to be served now.

Serve hot with absolutely nothing or with a good onion salad. This is an one-pot-meal and is indeed soul satisfying. Do drop me a comment telling how you like this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.


Happy Eating!


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