22 people made this

About this recipe: An Arabic recipe with spiced chicken cooked with rice allowing the rice to absorb the rich flavours. Great with Greek yoghurt! It is very popular in the Middle East, and has become a family favourite! It's really simple, though my steps may seem a little bit in depth, it gets easier once you've made it a few times!

tol1d7 Glamorgan, Wales, UK

Serves: 4 

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, medium or hot
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tablespoon crushed dried lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into a few pieces
  • 4 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 whole skinned chicken, cut up
  • 700ml water
  • 390g basmati rice, washed in water a few times

Prep:20min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

  1. Mix the curry powder, bay leaves, paprika, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, crushed dried lemon and cinnamon stick into a small bowl.
  2. Add the cooking oil to a frying pan and fry the onions on medium heat. As the onions are almost half way to becoming brown, add the bowl of spices to the onions and mix together well.
  3. After approximately 1 minute, add the chopped garlic. Once the onions are brown, add the tomatoes, chicken stock cubes and chicken. Fry the chicken until its fully sealed. Continue to fry the chicken for about 4 minutes on medium heat after the meat is sealed.
  4. Add the water, stir well and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink at the centre, stirring every few minutes. Taste the juice and add salt accordingly.
  5. Once the meat is fully cooked, and enough salt added, add the rice. Bring it up to the boil, stir it every 2 minutes for approximately 5 minutes. Then turn the gas down to the lowest flame possible, put a lid on and allow it to slowly simmer, stirring every 3 minutes. As the rice is cooking, the water will slowly disappear.
  6. When you can see the water is almost completely gone, taste the rice to see if its fully cooked. If the rice is still not fully cooked, add a little drop of water, allow it to cook further. Taste again, and continue this process until the rice is fully cooked (carefully add a little water at a time to avoid soggy rice)
  7. Once the rice is fully cooked then it's simply a case of just serving and enjoying!


You can use beef instead of chicken, just cook the meat until its fully cooked. The rest of the cooking remains the same. Also, this recipe is best when you use fresh tomatoes instead of trying to substitute with tinned tomatoes.

Other ideas

You can also experiment with this, try adding some dried mint etc.

Serving suggestion

Great with yoghurt, and a fresh cut salad.


The prep time varies depending if you put each ingredient into its own separate bowl, so with time this becomes easier to prepare.

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Reviews (5)


Had to tweak the recipe abit because I coulded get the crushed dried lemon anywere, nobody seemed to have heard of it so I bought a pot of spices that had lemon in it and other med spices in it, anyway the dish turned out lovely, and everybody polished it off, so thanks - 24 Sep 2014


amazing - 10 Jun 2012


I cooked this for my Arabic student and he knew straight away what it was called. So I was very pleased and it was delicious.gonna make this a once a week thing .thanks for sharing the recipe . - 04 Dec 2015

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