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Machboos ala Dujaj (Spiced Chicken and Rice)

Course Main
Cuisine Bahrain
Servings 4 -6
Author International Cuisine


  • 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
  • 1/8 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


  • For the Baharat:
  • Put all the ingredients for the Baharat blend into a small frying pan except for the Paprika and nutmeg.
  • Dry roast over medium high heat, tossing regularly to prevent scorching, toss for about 3-4 minutes until very fragrant.
  • Transfer to a spice or coffee grinder and let cool, add in the paprika and nutmeg.
  • Grind all the ingredients into a fine powder.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container. You will need 1 tablespoon for this recipe.
  • For the Machboos:
  • 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.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • 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.
  • Add in the ginger, garlic and green chile pepper and saute for a couple of minutes
  • Add in the baharat and turmeric and cook for another minute
  • Return the chicken pieces to the Dutch oven
  • Add in the tomatoes, dried limes, cardamom pods, cinnamon and cloves.
  • Add in the chicken stock and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Add in the cilantro, parsley and drained rice and stir to combine. Return to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for another 15- 20 minutes until the rice is tender and has absorbed the liquid.
  • Remove the chicken pieces and discard the dried limes and cinnamon stick.
  • Plate the rice, sprinkle with rose water, add the chicken pieces on top, enjoy!
  • Serve with an Arabic salad.