Chicken Kabsa

Category – Chicken/Main Course; Cuisine type – Arabic

Courtesy: Asateer, Atlantis, The Palm

Chicken Kabsa is a very popular dish in the Middle East. This special recipe has been shared by Chef Ali El Bourji, the Executive Oriental Chef of Asateer.

For the printable recipes

Serves 8 persons

Whole Chicken – 2Kg
Cardamom Green – 7gm
Salt – 20gm
White pepper – 10gm
Saffron– 1gm
Black Pepper –5gm
Cumin – 5gm
Nutmeg – 3gm
Cloves – 2gm
Whole black pepper – 2gm
Coriander Powder – 5gm
Onion – 150gm
Tomato Paste – 75gm
Fresh Tomato – 300gm
Capsicum – 250gm
Basmati Rice – 600gm
Vegetables Oil – 150ml
Dried lime – 5gm
Pine Nuts – 25gm
Almond – 25gm
Bay Leaves – 1gm
Cinnamon Sticks – 2

Method of Preparation
• Chop the Onion, cut the Tomatoes, Capsicum in wedges and chop the Coriander
• Heat the Oil in a casserole and add the Onion and Capsicum. Sauté with Cinnamon sticks, Bay leaves, whole Cardamom, Cloves and whole Black Pepper. Then add Chicken and cook for 5 minutes
• Add Tomatoes, the Spices, Salt and Pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes
• Add the water bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover for 20 minutes
• Add Rice to the pot and mixed well. Cover it again and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, adding the Raisins for the last 10 minutes or until Rice is tender
• Place the Rice on a large serving dish topped with the Chicken and garnish with Almond and Pine nuts

Note on Kabsa
Kabsa is a Rice and Chicken dish and is considered the National dish of Saudi Arabia. It is also believed to be indigenous to Yemen. In places like Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Iraq and Kuwait the dish is popularly known as Machbūs and is also served in a similar way. Traditionally, Kabsa is made with long-grained Rice, usually Basmati and is flavoured with spices, meat and vegetables. Chicken, Goat, Lamb, Camel, or sometimes Beef, Fish, and Shrimp may also be used to prepare the Kabsa. The traditional Chicken Machbūs is prepared with a whole Chicken. The garnishing may comprise of Almonds, Pine nuts, Onions and Sultanas. Meat for Kabsa can be cooked in various ways. A popular way of preparing meat is called Mandi, an ancient technique, whereby the meat is barbecued in a deep hole in the ground that is covered while the meat cooks. Another way of preparing and serving meat for Kabsa is Mathbi, where seasoned meat is grilled on flat stones that are placed on top of burning embers. A third technique, Madghūt, involves cooking the meat in a Pressure cooker. I did have an experience of tasting an amazing Yemeni Mandi on my Arabian Pilgrimage Food Tour With Frying Pan Adventures. {Info on Kabsa gathered from here}

{A complete listing of the recipes that I’m going to share over this period}


The Asateer tent

Asateer in Atlantis, The Palm: I did have a preview of this stunning tent (above). It felt like a page out of the ‘Arabian Nights’ with unique concepts like the Tahina Fountain a la the Fondue (first pic on the left), live cooking stations offering traditional dishes like Ouzi, a lamb and rice dish infused with Arabic spices – one of my favourite Middle Eastern dishes and presented beautifully (top left); Kebbeh bil Laban; Fish Sayadiyha; Halloumi and other Cheeses; the Katyaef (an Arab dessert commonly served during the month of Ramadan, a puff pastry filled with delicious Akkawi cheese); the Assafiri, a sweet crepe filled with an Arabic cream called Kashta and more. My pick? Ouzi and the Ramadan special juices like Jallab and Karkadeh or the sweet Hibiscus tea. The newly created Atlantis Foodie page has many pictures on the beautiful tent and gives more on the behind-the-scenes activities and other offerings at the resort.

Ramadan Tents in Dubai
Traditionally, Ramadan tents are erected during the month of Ramadan, where people can meet right after Maghrib or the sunset so that everyone who’s fasting for Ramadan can break their daily fast with friends and family over an Iftar meal. Dates form an important part of Iftar (three dates are eaten to break the fast, in the tradition of the prophet Mohammed, who broke his fast in this manner). In Dubai, Iftar buffets are organised in many hotels around the city, complete with air-conditioned Ramadan Tents. I have been curious whether the grandeur of these Iftar Buffets contradict some of the very principles of Ramadan, which is abstinence and self-discipline. While some of my Muslim friends do not attain these Buffets because the prayer facilities for Maghrib isn’t there, most of these Ramadan tents nowadays have prayer rooms. As food blogger and artisan chef Dima Sharif explains, ‘While in Dubai, and especially among the expat community, Iftar Buffets are very popular – probably because they are away from family, and in Ramadan tradition has it that you break fast with a large number of people – it is not the actual tradition of Ramadan among most and not in fact the most famous forms of breaking fast. Actually, the tradition and spirit of Ramadan (the essence) is very much alive, and that is my focus this year.

{The Ramadan tent can hold upto 830 people, has exclusive Majlis areas, prayer rooms. Iftar sunset buffet is priced at Dhs 185/person followed by an a la carte Suhour menu from 9.30pm with a minimum spend of Dhs 120. E-mail or call +97144260800. More info here.}


My previous post chalks out all about Ramdan in Dubai | Where All You Can Eat. During this entire month, I will be sharing special Ramadan recipes, gathered from many signature restaurants of top hotels in Dubai and around the region. I know that many people do not go out during Ramadan and prefer to cook at home. Most would like to cook special dishes, but they don’t have access to these restaurant recipes. Each hotel that I have contacted has graciously sent me the recipes. I have been inspired by Dima Sharif, who has a tradition of posting daily recipes on her blog during Ramadan. This year, she explains the tradition of Ramadan as it is observed in different countries. Do join her in her journey as well – Ramadan Special 2013 – A Focus on Ramadan Culture & The Spirit of Ramadan. Also, my blog giveaway – Theme Night Dinner invite for two’, courtesy, The Address Marina, runs throughout the month of Ramadan.

Click here to enter the Giveaway!

Do join me as I post special recipes from the various signature restaurants in Dubai – each hotel I have contacted have been really gracious and have handed over their special recipe. I hope you try out these recipes (assuming that a restaurant recipe is not difficult to cook!), send me pictures and do keep connected over Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Enjoy your summers and yes, do show off an ASATEER recipe to your guests. Happy Cooking!

Unblogging it all… Ishita

Disclaimer: Only the Chicken Kasba image has been provide by Asateer, the rest of the pictures have been clicked by me. The opinions stated here are my own and are independent. I hope you enjoy reading the posts with lot of visuals. Please do not use any material from this post. You can see more pictures of my travel and food journey here.

You may also be interested in these recipes:
• Date Gyōza (Japanese Dumpling) | Recipe From ZUMA
Ginger Lotus Sea Bass | Recipe From Blue Jade, Ritz Carlton

Written by IshitaUnblogged

A Culinary Travel Blog by a Bong Gourmet. From Dubai, Kolkata & the world beyond, street food to fine dining, recipes to chef talks, it pens down experiences. With 2 kids in tow!


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