Muffins recipes

National dish of Saudi Arabia

flag of Saudi Arabia

  • Independence: 23. 9. 1932
  • Capital: Riyadh
  • Official language: Arabic
  • Population: 29 195 895
  • Area: 2 149 690 km2
  • International code: SA
  • Currency: Saudi riyal (SR) (SAR)
map of Saudi Arabia



  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 -3 lbs chicken, cut up
  • 1 (12 ounce) can tomato puree
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • grated rind of one orange, just the orange layer and none of the white
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lb long grain rice
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Kabsa is national food (dish) of Saudi Arabia


Sautee onion in oil over medium-high heat until it begins to brown. Turn heat to low and add chicken pieces, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and garlic and stir for about five minutes. Add hot water, grated carrot, orange rind, spices, salt and pepper to taste. Turn up heat to medum and cook, covered, for about 20-25 minutes, until chicken is done. Remove chicken. Set aside to keep warm. Stir rice into the liquid in the pan, and cook, covered over low heat for about 35 - 40 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Remove cinnamon, cloves and cardamom or warn your guests to look out for them! Put rice on a serving with chicken pieces arranged around the circumference. Sprinkle raisins and almonds over all.


Kabsa is a family of rice dishes that are served mostly in Saudi Arabia — where it is commonly regarded as a national dish. Kabsa, though, is believed to be indigenous to Yemen. In places like Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Iraq and Kuwait the dish is popularly known as machbūs, but is served mostly in the same way. These dishes are mainly made from a mixture of spices, rice (usually long-grain, mostly basmati), meat and vegetables. There are many kinds of kabsa and each kind has a uniqueness about it. Pre-mixed kabsa spices are now available under several brand names. These reduce preparation time but may have a flavour distinct from traditional kabsa. The spices used in kabsa are largely responsible for its taste; these are generally black pepper, cloves, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, black lime, bay leaves and nutmeg. The main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat, such as chicken, goat, lamb, camel, or sometimes beef, fish, and shrimp. In chicken machbūs, a whole chicken is used. The spices, rice and meat may be augmented with almonds, pine nuts, onions and sultanas. The dish can be garnished with ḥashū  and served hot with daqqūs — home-made tomato sauce. Kabsa is also known as Machboos in the Gulf region. Meat for kabsa can be cooked in various ways. A popular way of preparing meat is called mandi. This is an ancient technique, whereby meat is barbecued in a deep hole in the ground that is covered while the meat cooks. Another way of preparing and serving meat for kabsa is mathbi, where seasoned meat is grilled on flat stones that are placed on top of burning embers. A third technique, madghūt, involves cooking the meat in a Pressure cooker.

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