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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Machboos or Fooga (Traditional United Arab Emirates Dish) Recipe
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    Machboos or Fooga (Traditional United Arab Emirates Dish)

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    1 hr

    15 mins

    45 mins

    ' =^..^= 'Ameera' =^..^= ''s Note:

    This dish is very similar to the "chicken, rice, and spices" recipe I have on recipezaar but the changes made/added to it make it an authentic dish that is served in the United Arab Emirates. My husband who is from there and also many other locals from there eat this with ketchup. I thought that seemed weird at first but but then again I love the Japanese fried rice with ketchup and egg called omu-rice that is comfort food for Japanese children so I tried it and it is really good!! the dried limes called "loomi" in this recipe can be found at most middle eastern stores. It is important in this recipe. This is usually cooked all in a large pot on a stovetop but basmati rice is not easy to cook just perfect like that. In the oven it is almost impossible to fail at this recipe :D --if you want to increase/decrease this dish the broth is always double the amount of rice you use. If increasing, let it bake in the oven just a tad bit longer.

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    Units: US | Metric


    1. 1
      Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
    2. 2
      Bring water to boiling and add chicken bouillon cubes, lower heat and add dried limes and saffron and let simmer till bouillon is dissolved --keep it hot.
    3. 3
      Sprinkle chicken with half the spices (except the garlic).
    4. 4
      Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on med-high to high heat and fry the chicken till both sides are brown, lower heat to medium and remove the chicken to a plate.
    5. 5
      In that same skillet sauté the onions for 2 minutes, add tomatoes, garlic and remaining spices and sauté another 2 minutes, then turn off the burner.
    6. 6
      Add the rice and stir for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, till well coated.
    7. 7
      Spread rice in the baking dish and place the chicken pieces over the rice.
    8. 8
      Gently press the dried limes on the sides of the pot to distribute flavor in the broth and then poor on the rice and chicken (the whole thing including the dried limes) and cover tightly with foil.
    9. 9
      Bake for 40-45 minutes--do not open the foil cover at all until the time is up.
    10. 10
      If you want to eat this the authentic way, you can lay newspaper on the floor (for easy cleanup of spills), put all of this on a very large platter or on a couple large sheets of aluminum foil laid on the newspaper and everyone sits around and eats with their right hand!

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on October 05, 2009


      4 3/4 stars. This was pretty delicious for DH, DD (toddler) and I. I think the people who leave out the loomi should not star it unless they get 5 stars as I like the flavour given by the loomi. I used homemade chicken stock instead of chicken bullion cubes, extra virgin olive oil, I peeled my tomato before chopping it, added an extra clove garlic, used a sweet curry powder, Julie's Curry Powder Mix as we dont like hot spicy, therefore I did not add the optional cayenne pepper or chili powder. I used as much sea salt as I needed as I do in all recipes I don't go by salt amounts. I cooked this for DH, DD (toddler) and I with half a chicken cut in pieces and 1 1/4 cups white Basmati rice and half the amount of spices. I served this with Cucumber Yoghurt Salad (Labaan Bil Kiyaar) for a wonderful meal. Made for Think Pink Tag.

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    • on April 18, 2009


      Terrific! Made exactly as directed (including dried limes)and thought is was delicious. Didn't try the ketchup, but I did add a few raisins to the rice at the table. I liked the raisins, my husband didn't. A keeper for sure.

      person found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on May 12, 2007


      The saudis have an extremely similar dish to this which they call 'kabsah'. My mom has been making it for years and now I have taken over. My familiy loves it! however we dont eat it with ketchup, we eat it with the traditional accompaniments of Tomato Salsa, Yoghurt, and Salad. Delicious :)

      person found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No

    Read All Reviews (7)


    Nutritional Facts for Machboos or Fooga (Traditional United Arab Emirates Dish)

    Serving Size: 1 (427 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 3

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 595.7
    Calories from Fat 126
    Total Fat 14.0 g
    Saturated Fat 2.2 g
    Cholesterol 0.6 mg
    Sodium 1595.3 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 106.0 g
    Dietary Fiber 6.6 g
    Sugars 5.8 g
    Protein 12.1 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:

    chicken pieces

    dried limes

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