Al Kabsa - Traditional Saudi Rice and Chicken
I'm from Saudi Arabia, and I've eaten and prepared this dish all my life, and I must say that the steps in this recipe are very accurate. This dish is very diverse and is well-known in all gulf countries. So it's prepared in different ways with different ingredients, and this is just one way. Another delicious way of preparing it (my favorite) is by replacing chicken with small pieces (about 2-3 inch) of lamb or goat and adding about 15 to 30 minutes to the cooking time depending on the meat. These small cuts are not what you would normally find in a butcher shop, and they're typically found in Halal meat stores and Afghani or Persian stores. I personally don't use carrots, and sometimes even make it without tomato puree or tomato paste (it's actually called red Kabsa when tomatoes are used and white Kabsa when they aren't). What I'm trying to say here is, this recipe is very flexible and you can adjust it to whatever ingredients you have/like. As long as sauteed onions, a type of meat and the allspice parts are there, you can't go wrong with it.
All the spices in this recipe are sold in Middle Eastern grocery stores in North America as one blend, and even better, many online spice stores sell them. The spice blend is called Baharat, which literally translates to "spices" in Arabic.
Not every one uses saffron and often it's added to make it fancier in special occasions. To get the yellow color of saffron for a MUCH lower price, we usually use ground turmeric instead.
107 users found this review helpful
Apr. 28, 2012