Monday, July 20, 2015

Chicken Kabsa (A traditional Arabic Chicken & Rice Recipe) Step By step Recipe

While I was waiting inside the car in the parking-lot of a grocery store,the sight of a a very old couple walking together caught my attention, they were slowly walking with the help of their walking sticks on one side and their hands held each other on the other side.
Grandma seemed very sick and could barely walk while Grandpa looked little more healthy, and walked right by the Grandma's side, held her hand, carried her handbag along with the walking stick he used for himself and their grocery bag. I saw him open the door for her, made her sit comfortably,closed the doors for her and walked to the drivers side & I couldn't take my eyes off from them until their car drove away far from my visibility.
I realized the worth of companionship, love and care.

I tend to forget but am glad that instances like these reminds me to do so :)

Since Muslims around the World celebrated Eid last week, I decided to make something special to post in my blog today :)
Celebrating along with my Muslim friends, partaking the happiness & joy that they enjoy during this season. Dedicating this post to all my Muslim friends near and far.

During my India Visit this year, I heard much about Kabsa, which is a recent entry to the menu list there especially in the restaurants which were famous for Biriyani till then.
Though its a big hit in all the famous Muslim restaurants in my place, I was not lucky to taste it this time.Sad that I couldn't taste it there but was determined to try making it here once I reach back home.

This recipe is adapted from the YouTube video here

And here's how I made it.


For Rice and Gravy 

Long-grain Rice - 2 cups
Tomatoes - 3 No's (Medium) finely chopped
Tomato paste - 1 Tbsp (I used home made Tomato Sauce)
Dried Lime - 1 no (I sun-dried one lime until nicely dried) Otherwise buy'em from any Mediterranean stores.
Onion - 2 no's finely chopped
Ginger - 2 tsp chopped
Garlic - 2 tsp Chopped
Vegetable Oil - 2 tbsp (May use Butter instead)
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

Spices - 3 cloves, 1 small stick Cinnamon , 1/2 tsp Cumin powder,  4 Cardamom , 1 tsp Pepper crushed , 2 tsp Red Chili Powder, 1 tsp Coriander Powder.

For Marination & Shallow frying 

Chicken - 1 pound ( .45 Kg Approx) With bones and Skin preferred -cut into large pieces.
Lime Juice - from 2 Limes
Salt to taste
Pepper powder - 1 tsp (or more,adjust as per your preference)
Coriander Powder - 3 tsp
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Butter - 2 tbsp

For Serving 

Nuts (I used cashew nuts, traditionally they use Pine-nuts ) - 2 Tbsp
Raisins - 2 Tbsp
Parsley - few springs (I used Cilantro/Coriander Leaves)
Boiled Eggs - 2 to 4 No's (I didn't use)
Lemon ridges


Marination & Shallow frying

*  Marinate the chicken pieces with the ingredients given under marination (other than the butter), keep at least for half an hour.

*  Melt butter(2 tbsp) in a frying pan, keep the heat to medium and shallow fry the chicken pieces skin side down first ( if using chicken pieces with skin) Fry Until the skin looks brown and crispy)
I didn't use chicken with skin, so shallow fried it till the outside looked brown.

* Remove the chicken pieces and then fry the long grain rice in the left over butter & Chicken fat (in the same frying pan) fry stirring vigorously until for 3 to 5 minutes in low heat).
Keep aside the fried rice and the chicken pieces.


* In an other pot, heat vegetable oil (2 tbsp) and saute onion,garlic and ginger until onions looks translucent.

* Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste (I used Sauce), cook till everything is combined and looks mushy.

* Add then the shallow fried chicken pieces, and the freshly ground spices and powders (Given under Rice and Gravy), stir and combine, cook for another 5 minutes stirring continuously. (May transfer these then to a rice cooker but I cooked'em in the same pot)

* Add 3 and 1/2 cups of water to the gravy (Add little less than double the quantity of rice taken)
 Add dried lime and salt, cook'em covered for another 10 minutes until the chicken pieces are well done.

* Remove the chicken pieces from the gravy, and add the fried rice to this gravy for cooking the same,add extra salt and lime juice for the rice.  (Add extra water if you think the water is less)

* Cook the rice in the gravy until , water is completely dried and rice well done.

* Broil the chicken pieces (for 5 minutes in the oven) or dry roast the chicken pieces in a nonstick frying pan (in low heat) until the outside looks brown and crispy. (its better to broil if you have a bake oven)

* Once the rice is done, its ready to serve.
(I cooked the rice and then transferred them to another baking pan,covered it with aluminium foil and baked it in 350 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes, this helps the rice to open up a bit )

Serve hot rice, topped with the chicken pieces, sprinkle the fried nuts, raisins and few springs of parsley (or coriander leaves), traditionally they keep boiled eggs while serving them.

Enjoy a very flavorful and scrumptious Arabic meal :)

 Notes :
             - Rice to water ratio should be accurate in the recipe, otherwise the rice tends to get overcooked. I am still not confident in cooking rice perfectly, hence I baked the rice after cooking the same in the chicken gravy. Cover and bake until the rice is nicely done.
 If the water seems more in the rice, bake uncovered for 10 minutes, this helps to easily dry off any extra water in the rice.

             - In some recipes they prick the dried lime using a fork, to help extract its flavor easily.
 If you do not have any dried lime, add fresh lime rind (of 2 or 3 Lime's) to get its flavor.  Though only dried lime would contribute the authentic flavors needed.

Belated Eid wishes to all my friends and readers.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Chicken Roll

Happy Independence day weekend.
Hope you'are all having fun....waiting for the fire works.
I am super happy today as its the 200th post in this blog.
Thanks to all who visits this blog frequently :)

Have a very filling snack to share, this was my childhood favorite, used to enjoy these after school when my brother buy these from the bakery nearby our house,
here in the US I haven't seen much local bakeries like what we had in India,other than the fast-food chains, other local bakeries here are really expensive :(
These bakery store's in every nook and corner in our place used to be our "Hunger 911" a relief for the working mother's.

Its little tricky & time consuming, to make the pan cake to wrap the filling then coating and frying'em, but worth doing I must write.
Its also calorie rich, once in a while its fine ;)
You may buy the Spring roll wrap's that we get in the grocery store's here instead of making everything from scratch, in that case you need not have to coat'em in egg or bread crumbs.
I did this the traditional way of making'em in my place, wanted to spend some time cooking today because I made this for my Blog...Well...usually its for my family ;)

Here's is the recipe


For the Filling 

Chicken Breast - 1 pound (Approx) slice'em to big chunks.
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Vinegar - 1 tbsp
Ginger and Garlic - Minced 1 Tbsp each
Green Chili's - 2 no's (Adjust as per your preference)
Black Pepper corns - 1/2 tbsp (Whole)
Cinnamon stick - 1 small
Cloves - 3-5 no's
Cardamom - 4-6 no's
Salt to taste

For roasting the Filling 

Onion - 1 Medium (finely chopped)
Cabbage - 1/4th of 1 medium head (finely chopped) - Optional
Celery - 1/4 cup (finely chopped) -Optional
Vegetable Oil - 2 tbsp

For the Wrap 

All purpose flour - 1 to 2 cup's (Approx)
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water - to make the batter (need a free flowing batter, lighter as possible)

For Coating & Frying 

Egg's - 2 no's (Lightly beaten)
Bread crumbs - as required (I used store bought Bread crumbs seasoned with Italian seasoning)
Oil- for frying


Make the Filling 

* Mix well all the ingredients given under filling, rub them nicely to the chicken breast pieces and cook'em in low heat, till the water in the chicken is all dried and the chicken pieces are well cooked.
(May add little water to the marinade to prevent the pieces stick to the bottom of the pan, do not add more water)

* Grind or use the shred option in your blender to shred the cooked chicken pieces, shred'em along with the spices and all the other ingredients it was cooked with.

* Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan, saute onion , celery and cabbage (finely chopped), cook these in high heat stirring continuously till the onion's looks golden brown, mix in the shredded chicken mixture, stir and cook again for another 5- 7 minutes in high heat. Switch off the heat and allow to cool.

Make Wraps 

* Mix All purpose flour, salt,soy sauce and water to make a thin batter(Make it thin as possible)
  (Adjust the flour and water accordingly)

*Heat a pan cake pan (or a Dosa pan) keep the temperature in Low to medium only

* Pour a ladle full of the batter to the heated pan(pan shouldn't be too hot), make these pan cakes as thin as possible (Heat should be low otherwise its not possible to make thin pan cakes)

*Flip to the other side and cook till the pan cake's looks done on both sides.

* Place these pan cakes on a plate, add 1 tbsp (or less ) of the filling on the middle of the pan cakes.

* Roll'em as shown in the pic, may use little batter at the ends to make it thick and keep the wraps tight.

Coating & Frying 

* Heat Oil in a shallow pan,(Usually its deep fried, I tried to shallow fry'em and it came out good)

* Dip each Roll's in lightly beaten eggs first then coat them with bread crumbs.

Keep the heat medium to low, as the breadcrumbs tend to brown faster, I was little impatient here (As usual)

* Fry each Roll's in medium heat till all sides look brown & Crispy in the outside.

Enjoy a very filling and delicious evening snack.

Thanks to all my friends and readers, for the support and inspiration,
this keep me going :)

Happy 200 rt post :)