The Traditional Saudi Kabssah

Total Time
1hr 40mins
Prep 40 mins
Cook 1 hr

You can ask any Arabian about this Kabssah and everyone will say Saudis can't live without it. I mean if there is a Saudi lady that doesn't know how to make it, then that would be a very weird thing ;)..

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put the onions in a medium size pot, drizzle on the olive oil and cook at medium high heat until the onions are yellowish and starting to brown. Then put the garlic, cook for a few seconds then put in the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper and the spice mix; cook it until it becomes a thick red sauce and the tomatoes are almost melted.
  2. Put in the chicken halves. Sauté it with the sauce for a few minutes, then poor in some hot water just a little bit over the chicken and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat to medium low and let it cook for 40-50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, wash the rice and soak it in cold water for 30 minutes.
  4. Take the chicken out and put it in a roasting pan. Put in the oven and broil it until it’s golden.
  5. Drain the rice from water and put it into the chicken broth. Make sure there isn’t a lot of water in the pot.
  6. Cook it on medium high heat. Let it boil until it is almost dry, but not too dry. Make sure there is a little bit of broth left in the bottom of the pot.
  7. Lower the heat to very low, cover well and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Now all you have to do is uncover, put the rice in a big serving plate, top with the chicken and serve with a yogurt salad or a green salad--enjoy a great Saudi meal.
  9. I really hope you like it . :).


Most Helpful

Good stuff, 4 1/2 stars. I used chicken breasts in replacement of the whole chicken. I put about 1/4 the amount of ground ginger as it seemed it would be too much for us. I also cut down the cinnamon a tiny bit. I used just tomato paste and water as I didn't have any fresh tomatoes. After adding the chicken to the tomato sauce I threw in a couple handfuls of frozen green peas that needed to be used up. I drizzled additional olive oil on the chicken before broiling it. You must use the right amount of rice for the amount of broth. I would suggest to serve this with a yogurt salad and maybe a green salad as well.

UmmBinat August 13, 2009

We didn't just like it, we loved it! Only things I did differently was to skin the chicken, and add some yams to the rice. All of that wonderful liquid was soaked up. Probably no longer traditional though ;-) Served with a cucumber/yogurt salad and got rave reviews from hubs. Thank you!

Mama Q May 28, 2008

Salam, Chef Moody! We have a young man from Saudi Arabia visiting us, and he has been asking me to make Kabssah for him. We tried this recipe tonight and all liked it very much. I had a little trouble following the directions when I got to step 5, because it wasn't clear to me that the broth I had braised the chicken in was what I was supposed to use to cook the rice, and I had way too much water left in the pot. We improvised by using rice cooker for the rice, boiling down the broth while the chicken browned, then returned the boned and skinned chicken to the broth for a few more minutes. We served the chicken and broth over the rice, and it worked out pretty well. We served it with #186871, Cilantro Yoghurt, and it was delicious!

ohbother February 19, 2008

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