Al Kabsa - Traditional Saudi Rice (& Meat) Dish

READY IN: 3hrs 20mins
Recipe by Um Safia

This is my meat (lamb) version of Al Kabsa / Kabsah. Kabsa is one of the most famous of all the traditional Saudi dishes & is actually easy to make! See my other recipes for the chicken version.......

Top Review by Jennifer H.

I didn't understand the recipe very well. Had all the ingredients ready but it didn't say where to add the tomatoes, or the kabsa spices. It mentions tomatoes for sauce and earlier in the recipe, but only says to add it to the sauce. Also the separate kabsa spices ingredients, is that to be added to the rice as well as the ones listed in the first part of the ingredients? I'm still halfway through the process and it smells good!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Fry meat until browned on all sides. Add enough water to the pot so that it covers the meat by 1.5"-2", bring to a boil then cook gently over medium heat for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until tender. Reserve stock & set meat aside.
  2. Soak rice for 15 minutes. Drain, rise under running water then drain well.
  3. Add butter to a large stock pot or casserole, fry the onion, pepper, carrot & spices. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Add rice to vegetables in the pot, cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add meat stock until stock covers rice (approx 1.5" above rice). Cover pot. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes or until tender - add a little more stock or water if rice seems to become dry.
  5. Sauce:.
  6. Fry onion, garlic and tomato in the butter. Add tomato paste, celery, salt, cinnamon, water & stock cube. Cook on medium heat until slightly thickened and celery is tender.
  7. Serve in a large dish or on a platter. Place the rice first, top with meat & garnish with pine nuts. Serve the sauce in a jug with a spoon. Saudies enjoy kabsa with a hot sauce called 'shattah' -- .

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