Chicken Kapsa (Arabic rice dish)

What is Kapsa

Kabsa  is a  rice dish  that originates from Saudi Arabia but is commonly regarded as a national dish in many Arab states of Persian Gulf. The dish is made with rice and meat. It can often be found served in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, UAE, Qatar, Oman etc.There are many kinds of kabsa and each kind has a uniqueness about it.The spices used in kabsa are largely responsible for its taste; these are generally black peppers, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black lime, bay leaves and nutmeg.

Kapsa can be made of chicken, goat, lamb, beef, camel or fish. All the versions are very delicious to have. It is a must dish for any festival in Arabic countries. Generally kapsa is made of whole chicken/lamb/goat/fish etc, For my convenience,I made kapsa with chicken pieces.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 kg basmati rice
  • 1 kg chicken (leg+thigh pieces)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil +2 tbsp more
  • Kapsa spices
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 inch long cinnamon stick
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 1 small piece javitri
  • Other spices and ingredients
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red chilli powder(optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp salt or as per your taste
  • 1/4 th cup fried raisin and cashew to garnish


Cut and clean chicken pieces with bones.

Also clean and soak rice for atleast 1/2 an hour.

Following is the picture of ingredients other than chicken and rice. Take the whole spices,dry roast and grind to a fine powder. This is the homemade kabsa spice. Alternately you can also use readymade kabsa powder.

Heat a big saucepan and put 1/2 cup of oil. Add bay leaves.

Add now chopped onion and saute till light golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes. Fry till tomatoes become mashy.

Add the prepared dry spice powder, red chilli powder and salt.Saute till oil separates.

Now add the chicken pieces. Mix well with the spices and fry for 4-5 minutes in medium heat.

Add 4 cups of hot water. Cover and cook in medium heat till chicken cooks completely. It Wii take 12-15 minutes.

Now take out the chicken pieces with a tongue carefully from the stock and keep in a plate.

Next add the soaked rice and grated carrot to the boiling spicy stock.

Mix well with a spatula. Add more hot water if necessary to cook the rice.

When water is almost soaked by rice, check the seasoning. You can add more spices or salt in this stage according to your taste.

Cover and cook in low heat till rice cooks completely. It will take about 10 minutes.

In the meantime heat a non stick pan, add 2 tbsp of oil.

Fry the cooked chicken pieces to golden brown and remove.

Now put off the flame of the rice.Remove the lid and stir the rice very carefully in light hand.

Add the fried chicken pieces and mix lightly.

Transfer in a serving dish. Garnish with some fried raisin and cashew and enjoy with your family and friends.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. looks delicious


  2. Heliophilecooksandwrites says:

    Delicious recipe


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