Machboos is a main and popular Emirati dish. It consists of rice and can be made with chicken, lamb, or shrimp. We serve it daily in our cultural meals. Many of our guests enjoyed it and requested the recipe, which we are happy to share with you.
- I Kg chicken, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 Kg white basmati rice
- 2 onions chopped
- 2 fresh tomatoes chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 table spoons chopped coriander
- 1 potatoe chopped into square pieces
- 2 1⁄4cups water
- 1 tablespoon bezar (mixed spice)*
- sea salt (as desired)
- 1 whole dried lime (pierced a few times with a skewer. Called loomi)
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 3-4 tablespoons Ghee
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 4 whole cardamom pods, bruised
- 2 tsp saffron, soaked in lemon juice
- Rinse the chicken and rub it with sea salt and bezar*, then brown it gently on both sides with some ghee.
- Transfer to a pot, add some ghee, fry the garlic, tomato, loomi, cinnamon, cardamom and coriander.
- Add the potatoes, cover and simmer in low heat for 15 minutes..
- Remove chicken pieces from the pot.
- Rinse the white Basmati rice until the water runs clear.
- Add rice to the pot and stir gently, then set the chicken on top of the rice.
- Add the water until it covers the chicken and bring to a boil.
- Sprinkle the saffron mix, cover the pot and reduce heat to low for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile fry slices of onion in the remaining ghee until soft and browned, remove from heat and add raisins to the onions.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot on a platter with the onion/raisin mixture as garnish on top of the rice. You can also add boiled eggs for decoration.
And bil afia, which means in good health, the Arabic way of saying bon appetite.
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