Machboos Ala-Dajaj (Bahraini Spiced Rice)

May 28, 2017
Bahraini Spiced Rice,
Bahraini Spiced Rice

I have cooked machboos more than a hundred times!  It is foolproof! You can’t go wrong with this version.  As most middle eastern rice are, like kapsa, this does not come out exactly the same way every time. However,they always come close, which also means that the difference is not extreme.  You will achieve that signature taste from this recipe very easily.  

This version of the Bahraini rice & chicken  is versatile. Missing one or two of the spices is safe. Do not be afraid to do so if you are not a fan of one, like turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon bark, black lemon, etc. and the dish would still be fine.  Just do not take out more than two of the ingredients 🙂

I have also shared this recipe with friends through the years.  None have complained that it was difficult to cook.  They are actually surprised and pleased that this is easy.   I have also posted this recipe in 2010 on my personal Facebook account.


Machboos ala-Dajaj
Serves 4
Bahraini Spiced Rice with Chicken - MMK
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
  1. 2 large onions, chopped
  2. 2 tbsp ghee
  3. 1 tbsp baharat
  4. 1 tsp turmeric
  5. 1 chicken (about 1.5 kg), cut into 8 pieces
  6. ½ cups peeled, chopped tomatoes or 1 small tomato
  7. 3 cloves
  8. 1 black lemon, pierced once
  9. 2 pcs. Cinnamon bark
  10. 6 cardamom pods
  11. 3 tsp salt
  12. 2 cups basmati or long-grain rice
  13. 2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander leaves
  14. 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  15. 1/2 cup water
  1. Cook rice with water until half done, drain.
  2. In a deep pot, fry onion in ghee until golden.  Stir in mixed spices and turmeric and cook another minute.
  3. Add chicken pieces to onion turn until they are light brown.  Add tomatoes, black lemon, cinnamon bark, cardamom pods, salt and coriander and parsley leaves and stir well to combine.  Add ½ cup water, or less.
  4. Cook for 45 minutes over low-medium heat or until chicken is tender and sauce is quite thick.
  5. Add rice to chicken mixture; mix till rice is completely colored.
  6. Cover with towel or towel paper under the lid and leave over very low heat for at least 10 minutes. Longer is better.
My Mothers' Kitchens

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