Machboos ala Dujaj (Spiced Chicken and Rice)
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Bahrain
Serves: 4-6
  • For the Baharat (a poplular Bahraini spice blend)
  • 1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick (about 2 inches long)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon green cardamom seeds
  • 1 tablespoon paprika powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • For the Machboos:
  • Chicken pieces about 3 lbs. legs, thighs, breasts
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 hot green chile , seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Baharat (spice blend)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 large roma tomatoes, diced or 1 14oz. can of diced tomatoes drained
  • 3 dried limes (loomi) several holes punched throughout each one
  • 5 green cardamom seed pods
  • 1 stick of cinnamon (2” long)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups basmati rice (soaked for at least 15 minutes, then rinsed and drained)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Rosewater for sprinkling
  1. For the Baharat:
  2. Put all the ingredients for the Baharat blend into a small frying pan except for the Paprika and nutmeg.
  3. Dry roast over medium high heat, tossing regularly to prevent scorching, toss for about 3-4 minutes until very fragrant.
  4. Transfer to a spice or coffee grinder and let cool, add in the paprika and nutmeg.
  5. Grind all the ingredients into a fine powder.
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container. You will need 1 tablespoon for this recipe.
  7. For the Machboos:
  8. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat and fry the chicken pieces until the skin is brown and crispy on all sides.
  9. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  10. Add in the ghee to the Dutch oven, reduce the heat to medium, and fry the onions until they start to brown about 10-12 minutes.
  11. Add in the ginger, garlic and green chile pepper and saute for a couple of minutes
  12. Add in the baharat and turmeric and cook for another minute
  13. Return the chicken pieces to the Dutch oven
  14. Add in the tomatoes, dried limes, cardamom pods, cinnamon and cloves.
  15. Add in the chicken stock and stir to combine.
  16. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  17. Add in the cilantro, parsley and drained rice and stir to combine. Return to a boil.
  18. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for another 15- 20 minutes until the rice is tender and has absorbed the liquid.
  19. Remove the chicken pieces and discard the dried limes and cinnamon stick.
  20. Plate the rice, sprinkle with rose water, add the chicken pieces on top, enjoy!
  21. Serve with an Arabic salad.
Recipe by International Cuisine at