Chicken Kabsa


An extravagantly simple meal for a feast. This is for feeding almost 20 people.

You Need:

  • 10 pairs of chicken legs and thighs. Approximately 3 kilos.
  • Basmati Rice : 1.5 kilos
  • Onion : 750 grams finely sliced.
  • Tomatoes : 500 grams
  • Green Chilies : 15.
  • Ginger Garlic Paste : 6 tablespoons.
  • 3 dry black lemons.
  • The zest and juice of two lemons.
  • Water : double the volume of rice.
  • Maggi Chicken Stock Cube. One box with its two packets.
  • Lots of chopped coriander and mint leaves.
  • Some aromatics like cinnamon and cloves.
  • Two tablespoons of black pepper pods.
  • Some saffron soaked in 1/4 cup of milk.

Masala Powder: Light roast the ingredients and grind to a fine powder.

  • 12 cloves.
  • 2 inch piece of cinnamon.
  • 6 Cardamom.
  • A small piece of nutmeg.
  • 3 small mace flower.
  • 3 star anise.
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin.
  • 2 tablespoons of black pepper.
  • 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds.


Fried almonds, raisins and cashews.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil. Fry the cinnamon and cloves. Add in the onions. Saute till the raw smell is gone. Add the ginger garlic paste. Continue to saute till the onions are translucent. Season with salt. Add the chicken pieces. Saute till they are fully white. Add in 3/4 of the masala powder and tomatoes.

Add in the lemon zest,  pepper pods, chicken stock cubes and water. Cook covered for about 20-25 minutes. Fish out the chicken pieces and let them cool.

Add the rice into the water. Check the salt and add if needed. Mix in a couple of fistfuls of coriander and mint leaves. Cook covered till the rice is almost done.

Meanwhile, once the chicken has cooled down, coat it with the remaining masala powder, lemon juice and some oil. You may also want to add in some red chilly powder and salt.

Once the rice is almost done drizzle the saffron milk on the rice.

Pan fry the chicken. You may need to do this in batches. Place the chicken pieces on top as soon as a batch is fried.

When all the chicken has been fried and arranged on the rice, leave the pot covered and let it sit on low heat for about 10-12 minutes.

Let it rest for about 10 minutes before you open the pot. Garnish with the fried almonds, cashew and raisins. Sprinkle some coriander and mint leaves.



Published by Imran

A s/w engineer by profession, I cook for my family.

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