Kabsa is a traditional Saudi rice dish. Chicken Kabsa Recipe can be made with many variations. Kabsa and Majboos are similar rice dishes which is popular in the Gulf countries.


Kabsa spice mix:
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom (cardamom powder)
  • ¼ tsp ground white pepper (white pepper powder)
  • ¼ tsp saffron
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon (cinnamon powder)
  • ½ tsp ground all spice
  • ½ tsp dried whole lime powder
Chicken kabsa:
  • 2 tbsp oil or butter
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger (ginger paste)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (garlic paste)
  • 1 green chili
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree (tomato paste)
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg (nutmeg powder)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper (black pepper powder)
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin (cumin powder)
  • ½ tsp ground coriander (coriander powder)
  • 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 200 g canned diced tomatoes (or 3 tomatoes chopped)
  • 2 chicken cubes
  • 1½ kg whole chicken, cut into 6 pieces
  • 3 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • Water
  • Salt to taste
  • Raisins, to garnish (optional)
  • Slivered almonds, to garnish (optional)

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  1. To prepare the kabsa spice blend, combine the cardamom, white pepper, saffron, cinnamon, all the spices and lime powder in a bowl.
  2. Put aside. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed kadhai over medium-high heat. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and green peppers. Sauté 2 to 3 minutes or until the onions turn golden brown.
  3. Add the bay leaves, cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick. Fry for a minute. Stir in the tomato puree. Add the ground nutmeg, ground black pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander and kabsa spices. Season with salt.
  4. Fry the spices for one minute. Add the carrots and diced tomatoes. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken cubes and the chicken pieces.
  5. Brown the chicken, turning it occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan. Put aside.
  6. Add the rice and raisins. Pour 4 cups of water. Season with salt. Boil the water. Reduce heat, cover with lid and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Preheat the grill. Grill chicken for 15 minutes. Serve the rice with grilled chicken.