Also called Kabsa and Makboos, Majboos is a traditional mixed rice dish that originated in Saudi Arabia. It’s famous in the Arab World especially in the Gulf countries including Oman. The dish consists of rice, usually basmati, vegetables, meat or chicken and a mix of spices. It is sometimes, served with either yoghurt or green salad, traditional bread and tomato sauce. Since this dish is known all around the gulf, the way its made is also different from one country to another. Yet, those countries share the same spices and ingredients.
Before I specify this recipe, I found out that every household makes Makboos differently as well. Therefore the way I do it is a combination of the best recipes out there. So here we go:
1 kg or full Chicken with skin on
3 cups of rice, soaked in water for about 30 minutes, with one spoon of vinegar and salt.
2 large onion diced
1 large onion cut in cubes
1 tomato cut in cubes
1 carrot cut into big pieces
2 celery sticks
6 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 piece of dried lime
12 cup of dried raisins soaked in water for 10 minutes, then rinsed out and add cashew nut and any other nut you like.
3 potatoes peeled and cut into 4 large pieces.
Vegetable oil, and gee
Fresh green chilli
Salt, black pepper, curry powder, cardamom powder, turmeric powder, paprika
Fresh garlic and ginger paste
Garam masala pieces.
Normally we cut the full chicken into separate pieces and we wash it with vinegar and place it in a bowl with all the powder spices, you may add some chilli paste if you wish it to be spicy, otherwise you can also ginger and garlic paste, cubed onions, carrot, tomatoes and celery, add a pinch of vegetable oil and fry everything together for about 7 mins then add water to cover and chicken and let it cook for about 35 minutes.
In another deep fryer pan, add oil and add the potatoes and fry them until golden and strain them aside. Soak a pinch of saffron into about 2 tablespoons of warm water, and In another bowl add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and use the same spices to marinate the chicken into the bowl turning it into a paste, then add the saffron water to create a smooth texture.
Now, remember the diced onions, start staring it into a flat pan with a little oil, add a pinch of salt and make sure it's done over low heat. This is considers stuffing, so we don’t want to burn the onions or caramelize it into golden colour, we want to keep it purple, yet cooked through. And the way to do that is to keep adding a splash of water every time the pan gets too hot and almost burns the onion. 15 minutes into cooking the onion add the nuts and raisins and put off the fire after 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, the chicken would have been cooked through, filter the chicken broth into a large bowl and pick up all the chicken pieces and arrange them on an oven tray, start applying the saffron spices paste on the chicken, then introduce it into a high-temperature grill oven to turn the chicken skin golden.
Next, in the same pot you cooked the chicken, add one tablespoon of ghee and add the full pieces of garam masala spices, stir for about one minute then add the rinsed rice and stir for another 3 minutes.
Cooking rice is interesting because now get to cook it with chicken broth that is full of yummy flavours, so add the broth into the rice and salt, then cook over medium heat until you can see the rice, then cover and cook over low heat until its tender.
Once the rice is ready, spread it into a serving bowl and add the grilled golden chicken pieces on top and garnish with onion and raisin stuffing into a little bit of chopped coriander.
And there you have it! best Majbos in town.