Weekend Cooking: Saleeg
15 Sep 2017

Weekend Cooking: Saleeg

15 Sep 2017

I’ve been looking through the Saudi Food Eman YouTube channel, and seriously this lady is pretty talented.  I’ve tried a few of her recipes already, and have quite a long list of others in my weekend cooking queue.  This particular dish, saleeg, was something different from the recent rice dishes I’ve been making.

Looking at how simple the ingredients were, I had my doubts about whether this was really as good as I imagined it to be, but in the end my fears were unfounded.  This tasty rice porrige worked so perfectly with the no-frills roast chicken, and yes, I think I agree with Eman that this dish may satisfy the pickiest eaters.  Try it out!


  • 1 (1-kilogram) chicken, cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 litres hot water
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 1/2 cups Japanese/Calrose rice OR Thai fragrant rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup full cream milk, or 6 pieces Kiri cheese spread


Preheat the oven to 230 degrees C.  If you have a fan/convection setting, preheat oven using that setting.

In a large stock pot over medium high heat, add the chicken pieces.

Add 2 litres hot water…

…the whole onion, cardamom and black peppercorns…

….and salt.

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the chicken pieces, cardamom and whole onion from the pot, and place in a roasting pan.

Add the rice.

Add the remaining 2 litres of hot water.

Cover and cook, 30 minutes.  Stir every 15 minutes to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.

While the rice cooks, prepare the chicken.  Brush both sides of the chicken pieces with 1 tablespoon melted ghee.

Season both sides with black pepper…

…and about 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Add a bit of hot water into the tray.

Place the tray in the oven and roast, until the skin is crispy and browned, 20 minutes.

After the rice has cooked for 30 minutes, stir in the Kiri or milk…

…and the remaining tablespoon of ghee.

Continue cooking the rice, stirring, another 10 minutes.  If the rice is too thick, add a little more water.  The consistency you want is for the mixture to still slide off the spoon, but slowly.  Remove from heat.

Serve the saleeg in deep plates, arranging the chicken pieces on top.  (Optional step) Drizzle with more melted ghee.

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