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Today’s Recipe: How Can You Cook Chicken Machboos?

Chicken Machboos (Machboos ala Dajaj) is a common traditional dish of UAE that people love to eat on the Eids and every weekend. Spiced chicken with rice (Machboos) tastes unique, delicious and divine, because of its unique and healthy ingredients. Arabic spices are used in generous quantity to give it a tasty aroma. This dish has become a family favorite in many Arabic countries. It is just similar to Kabsa (national dish of Saudi Arabia) and Biryani (popular dish of the Indian subcontinent). Variations are also popular for this dish, which make it an authentic meal for food lovers.

How Can You Cook Chicken Machboos?

Here I’m going to share a simple recipe for chicken Machboos that is really very easy and simple to make. I hope you like it as much as I do.


  • Whole skinned chicken — 1 about 2-3 lbs, cut into 4 serving pieces
  • Basmati rice — 2 cups
  • Water — 4 cups
  • Curry powder — 1 tablespoon
  • Paprika — 1 tablespoon
  • Black pepper — 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander — 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric —- 1 tablespoon
  • Bay leaves — 3
  • Cardamom pods — 4
  • Cloves — 4
  • Crushed dried lemon —1/4 tablespoon
  • Dried black limes —- 2
  • Cinnamon stick, broken into a few pieces — 1
  • Cooking oil — 4 teaspoons
  • Chopped Onion — 1 Large size
  • Fresh garlic, finely chopped — 2 cloves
  • Ginger, crushed — 1
  • Fresh tomatoes, chopped — 4
  • Chicken stock cubes — 2
  • Salt to taste

Serves: 3-4 Persons

Preparation Time: About 1 hour 20 minutes

  • Before preparing it: Put the rice in water and rinse it a few times with a couple changes of water. Then add water and leave it to soak for at least 30 minutes while you work on other things. Leaving the rice in the water is important because it will help it cook faster later.

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  1. Make a spice blend by mixing the black pepper, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, crushed dried lemon, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, salt, coriander, cardamom and paprika in a small bowl.
  2. Sprinkle half of the spice mix on the chicken pieces and set aside to marinate for about 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Add the cooking oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions on medium heat, until the onions get a slightly golden brown color.
  4. Add crushed ginger and garlic, and the rest of the spice mixture and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, dried black limes, chicken stock cubes and chicken. Turn the chicken pieces a few minutes in the pan to coat with the mixture. Continue to fry it for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  6. After this, add the water, stir it well. Cover it and continue to simmer it until the chicken is properly cooked and tender. It takes almost 20-30 minutes.
  7. Once the chicken is fully cooked, taste the soup and add salt accordingly, if needed. And make sure that the soup remains almost 4 cups which is required to cook the rice. You can add more water if needed.
  8. Then add rice to the pan and bring it up to the boil. Stir it well for few minutes. Continue to simmer it on the lowest possible heat, until the water is dried and the rice is cooked properly. It requires about 30 minutes and then it’ll be ready to eat .

Chiken Machboos

Image Credit: Pinterest.com


  • If you are a vegetarian, you can add your favorite vegetables instead of chicken.
  • You can also use beef or meat as an alternative to chicken. It’ll give you a different taste definitely.
  • You can also add some dried mint, rose water and butter pieces on the top of rice with chicken halves to make it more delicious and lip-smacking.

Serve the rice in a serving Platter with Greek yogurt and fresh salad and enjoy it. So Yummy!!!

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Papaorder Blog explores the food culture of various nations while the main focus is on Arabic culinary style and culture.

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