Ramadan Cooking: Chicken Kabsah with Rice
17 Jun 2017

Ramadan Cooking: Chicken Kabsah with Rice

17 Jun 2017

Usually during Ramadan I try to cook more often for my family.  Sometimes I make snacks and appetizers, and sometimes I try to make one-pot meals.  This year’s Ramadan, one of the first buka puasa dishes I made was this chicken kabsah.  My family loves Middle Eastern cuisine, but our favourite nasi Arab restaurant, Half Moon, is just too darn far for us to bother getting takeout from *and* still expect to be back home in time for tarawih prayers.  So, here I was, looking around for recipes on the Internet and finally choosing this one, with my own modifications.

Getting the rice to liquid ratio was a bit tricky for me.  During my first try making this, I underestimated how much liquid the vegetables and chicken would produce, and my rice ended up being soggy.  I also need to make sure I remember not to soak the rice like I usually do, which also would result in mushy rice.  I also prefer the chicken to be slightly crispier, so I browned the chicken first before adding the rice.

Overall I loved this dish, simple yet so comforting and delicious.  Something I’ll definitely make again and again.

Chicken Kabsah with Rice


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 (1.5 kilogram) chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, julienned
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon kabsah spice mix
  • 1 pinch nutmeg powder
  • 1 pinch ground cumin (jintan putih)
  • 1 pinch ground coriander (ketumbar)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 3 cups (4 rice cooker cups) basmathi rice, rinsed (do not soak)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)


In your rice cooker pot or a large dutch oven over medium high heat, heat the olive oil.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden.

Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft.

Add the chicken pieces and cook, flipping the chicken pieces from time to time, until browned on all sides.

Reduce the heat to low.  Stir in the tomato puree and simmer, 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, carrots, cloves, all the spices, salt and pepper.  Cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the water and chicken stock cube.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add rice to the pot and stir carefully.

Transfer the rice cooker pot to the rice cooker and finish cooking, stirring in the raisins after the “keep warm” light is switched on.   If using a dutch oven, cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, adding the raisins for the last 10 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Place the rice on a large serving dish, topped with the chicken and garnished with almonds.  Serve with some form of salsa, such as this Arabic salsa.  We usually have ours with Kak’mbang’s acar tomato.

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