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Eid Special Treat: Kabsa Rice

For thirty days, we have brought you Ramadan Treats: a segment covering personally loved recipes from the public. Today, we join the Eid festivities by bringing you an Eid Special recipe, ideal for your special Eid feasts.

Mariyath Mohamed
10 April 2024, MVT 12:27
Kabsa Rice
Mariyath Mohamed
10 April 2024, MVT 12:27

Eid al Fitr literally means the 'Feast of Breaking the Fast'.

After a month of fasting, Eid is celebrated in all our households with special lunches. Some still maintain the practice of special breakfast of boakiba and aveli and the likes after Eid Prayers.

Eid lunch is traditionally variations of chicken, most often a chicken curry paired with a special rice and poppadum. In recent times, our kitchens have become more adventurous and diverse, borrowing recipes from India, the Middle East and elsewhere.

In today's Eid Special, we feature Kabsa Rice, an Arabian rice dish served with grilled chicken.


3 cups rice (Basmati suits this dish best)

1 chicken (curry cut, or cut into large pieces, skin on)

2 onions (thinly sliced)

8 cloves of garlic (finely diced or grated)

2 inch piece ginger (grated)

6 tomatoes (diced into small pieces)

3 tablespoon tomato paste

a pinch of lemon zest

1 4-inch stick cinnamon

2 bay leaf

6 cardamom (ends cut off)

8 cloves

1/4 cup oil

2 tablespoon ghee

salt (to taste)


For Spice Mix:

1 2-inch stick cinnamon

10 cloves

10 cardamom (ends snipped off)

10 dried red chili

2 tablespoons whole black pepper

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon nutmeg


3 tablespoons ghee

Raisins (deep fried)

Cashew nuts (deep fried)

Thinly sliced onions (deep fried)


First prepare the spice mix.

- Roast all the spices together in a pan on low heat.

- Once it becomes golden and fragrant, remove from heat.

- Let it cool

- Use a grinder and grind everything together into a fine powder

You can store this spice mix for later use as well.


- Wash the rice and let it soak for about 1 hour.

- Heat a large pan. Add oil. Once oil starts to heat up, add in onions, garlic, ginger and salt. Saute'.

- Once onions begin to soften and become translucent and the garlic and ginger become fragrant, add in the chicken pieces. Lay them down in the pan skin side down.

- After ten minutes, flip the chicken and cook on the other side for 10 minutes.

- Add in tomatoes, tomato paste, lemon zest, spice mix, as well as all the whole spices and mix it all together. Add in water just until the chicken is covered and bring it to a boil.

- Cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat for another 30 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.

- Preheat over to 250 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with foil and grease it.

- Remove the cooked chicken pieces from the pan and transfer them to the baking tray. Line them up skin side up.

- Brush some of the spice mix on top of the chicken and drizzle some oil

- Bake in oven for about 10 minutes or until the skin becomes crisp

- Place the pan with the mixture you removed the chicken out of back on the stove. Add in the rice.

- Cook on high heat and bring it to a boil

- Now lower the heat, cover the pan tightly and let it cook for about 30 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid

- Fluff the rice. Garnish with fried onions, cashew nuts and raisins.


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