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.


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