Kabli Rice

7 Aug

A traditional Arabic chicken dish called Kabli rice.

I was recently invited to a friend’s home for a traditional Arabic meal.  When I first arrived, I was treated to Arabic coffee which was very refreshing. The taste of the coffee reminds me more of tea than North American coffee and I especially enjoyed the hint of cardamom in the coffee.

Arabic tea served with a dried date. It is often served with a sweet dried date to counter the slightly bitter taste of the coffee.

For lunch, we had a flavourful and healthy chicken and rice dish infused with exotic spices called Kabli rice.  The recipe is below.

  • five skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 4 cups of basmati rice
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup of rose water
  • 1 tsp dry ground coriander + a few dry coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom + a few whole cardamom pods
  • zest of one large orange
  • a pinch of saffron, soak in 1/4 cup of hot water, cover for approximately 30 minutes
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • a few dried cloves
  • canola oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

A few slivers of saffron soaked in hot water.

In a large pot on medium heat, add in 2 tbsps of oil and sauté the garlic, onions and chicken for three to five minutes.  Add in the spices (cumin, ground cardamom, dry ground coriander, cinnamon, salt and pepper) and orange zest.  Mix well and cook for another five minutes, then add in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and potatoes.  Simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

Chicken with the spices, garlic, orange zest and onions added in.

To make the rice: first rinse the rice thoroughly, then in a separate pot, add in the rice and enough water so that it covers about  one inch from the surface of the rice. Also add in a sprinkle of salt, cardamon pods, cloves, coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks and a tbsp of oil. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.

Simmering basmati rice with coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves and sea salt.

Drain the rice and add 3/4 of the rice to the chicken.  Stir but not well to leave the rice half white and half red from the tomato paste. Pour in the remaining rice, rose water and saffron infused water. Mix sparingly, do not over mix.  Cover the pot and cook the rice and chicken on low heat for another 30 minutes or until the rice is soft. Garnish with parsley leaves if desired and serve immediately.

Kabli rice with a side of garden salad dressed in a traditional Arabic sauce.

A HUGE thank you  to Laila for inviting me into her home and sharing her family traditions and recipes.

2 Responses to “Kabli Rice”

  1. Alaa August 7, 2011 at 4:54 PM #

    Yummy, yummy.. It looks delicious 🙂

  2. lina August 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM #

    It’s look delicious really , I think I’m hungry <<<<<<

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