Chicken kabsa

A regional family favourite, the secret to this epic dish is a warm and delicate blend of herbs and spices including cumin, cinnamon and saffron.

  • 90 min
Chicken kabsa


  • 350 g Basmati rice, soaked and drained
  • 1 large chicken (about 1.4kg), cut into pieces
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee butter
  • 300 g onion
  • 4 shallots
  • 400 g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch of saffron
  • 2 tsp of Vegeta all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 bunch of chopped coriander
  • coriander, cumin, cinnamon and pepper, almonds, raisins, pistachios and ghee butter (for garnish)


  1. Preheat your over to 180°c.
  2. Heat the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Fry your shallots and 200g of the onion.
  3. Add a teaspoon each of coriander, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, plus your garlic and ginger, and fry for another couple of minutes.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, chicken pieces, add Vegeta and saffron and pour in one litre of water. Cover and cook about 40 minutes.
  5. Transfer chicken to a baking pan, cover with some sauce and bake for about 20 minutes.
  6. Fry the remaining onion and add your rice. Add water to the chicken’s juices until you have 800ml, and pour over rice. Pour in lemon juice and cook rice until tender. Stir in coriander.
  7. For the decoration, fry 4 sliced shallots in ghee butter and add 50g almonds, 80g raisins, 30g shelled and chopped pistachios, and fry for about 2 minutes.
  8. To serve, place rice on a plate, sprinkle with toasted almonds and raisins, and lay chicken on top.

Chef's tip: Chicken contains an optimum balance of proteins and provides almost half the body's daily protein requirement.