Monday, November 5, 2007


The Saudi Kingdom is well known for its variety of traditional dishes that reflect the diversity of the regions and the custom of the people. Most of the dishes contain meat, rice, wheat, vegetables and spices that give these recipes a special flavor. One of Saudi Arabia's most famous dishes is Al-Kabsa.

Kabsa, a traditional food of Saudi Arabia, is made of rice cooked with red or white meat or chicken in a pot. A variety of spices and salads can be added to the dish. Al-Kabsa is considered a staple dish throughout the Kingdom..........

The chicken is great but the rise taste strange for newbies.

There are three main things about kabsa; the ingredients, the cooking steps, and the way of presenting and eating.

First, the ingredients…

¤ 2 1/2 kg (80 oz) chicken
¤ 4 cups long grain rice
¤ 1/2 kg (16 oz) carrots, peeled and finely chopped
¤ 1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
¤ 1/2 kg (16 oz) green peas
¤ 1 kg (32 oz) red tomatoes, peeled and chopped
¤ 1 kg (32 oz) finely chopped onion
¤ 1 medium sized garlic head, peeled and crushed
¤ 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron
¤ 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
¤ 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¤ 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
¤ 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
¤ 1 tablespoon salt
¤ shortening for frying
¤ Fried almonds and pine nuts for garnishing

Second, the steps…

A popular way of preparing meat is called Mandi. This utilizes ancient techniques of cooking, first employed when man discovered fire, where meat is barbecued in a deep hole in the ground that is covered while the meat cooks.

Another unique way of preparing and serving meat is Mathbi where seasoned meat is grilled on flat stones that are placed on top of burning embers. Madghoot (Pressurized) is where meat is cooked in a Pressure cooker.

Modern Way:

Steps :

1 - Fry meat pieces till brown from both sides. Cover with water, bring to a boil then cook gently over medium heat for 2 hours or till tender. Reserve stock.
2 - Soak rice for 15 minutes. Drain, wash well, then drain again.
3 - Add shortening to a pot, fry on medium heat all ingredients except rice and meat. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
4 - Add rice to vegetables in pot, stir fry for 4 minutes on medium heat. Add stock meat until stock covers rice. Cover pot. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes or until tender.
5 - Serve rice in a large platter. Garnish with meat, almonds, and pine nuts.

6 - Sauce:
7 - Fry onion, garlic and tomato in shortening. Add tomato paste, salt, cinnamon and meat stock.
8 - Cook mixture on medium heat. When it thickens, add celery.
9 - Serve the sauce beside the Kapse platter.

Third, the presentation

¤ 2 cups meat stock
¤ 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
¤ 2 large tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped (Crushed in a blender is best)
¤ 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
¤ 1 tablespoon tomato paste
¤ 1/4 cup chopped celery
¤ 1 teaspoon salt (as desired)
¤ 2 tablespoons shortening

If you visit to Saudi Arabia don't forget to try the traditional Kabsa, the main meal in the country.

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