How to Prepare Saudi Arabia’s National Dish: The Delicious Al Kabsa

How to Prepare Saudi Arabia’s National Dish: The Delicious Al KabsaSaudi Arabia is not just a country rich in oil and gas reserves. Its wealth spans its diverse and incredibly scrumptious cuisine as well. One of its most prominent dishes is known as the Al Kabsa, a spicy, flavorful meal made with rice and chicken or lamb that will pamper your senses with each bite. Here’s how to make it yourself!

Al Kabsa Ingredients

For the Dish

  • 3 lbs chicken cut into 8-10 pieces
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato puree
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 carrots grated
  • 14 ounces canned chopped tomatoes with liquid (or fresh)
  • 2 whole cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 2 ¼ cups basmati rice don’t rinse or soak this
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds toasted
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Kabsa Spice Mix

  • ¼ teaspoon ground green cardamoms
  • ½ teaspoon saffron
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground dried limes

How to Make Al Kabsa

Step 1

Grab a large stockpot or dutch oven and melt the butter in it. Then, add the onion, garlic, and chicken pieces, and sauté until the meat is browned and the onion is tender.

Step 2

Add the tomato puree, stir in nicely, and let it simmer over low heat for a few minutes. Then, add the carrots, cloves, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and all the spices, including the kabsa spice mix. Cook for a couple of minutes.

Step 3

Add the chicken stock cube and the water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Let it simmer over low heat for about half an hour.

Saudi Arabia’s National Dish Al KabsaStep 4

Carefully stir in the rice and cover again. Let it simmer for another 35 to 40 minutes. Add the raisins in the last 10 minutes and continue to cook until the rice is tender and ready.

Step 5

Serve the Al Kabsa by placing the rice at the bottom and topping it with the chicken. Garnish with almonds or cashews. Enjoy it straight away with a hot sauce called ‘Shattah.’