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Machbous Ala Djaj (Bahrain)

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“This recipe is from week 20 of my food blog, "Travel by Stove." I am attempting to cook one meal from every nation on Earth, and Bahrain is my 20th stop. Machbous is a spiced rice dish, considered by many to be the national dish of Bahrain (a small island nation in the Persian Gulf). This version is made with chicken.”
1hr 50mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Melt the ghee or butter in a saucepan and frying the onions until they are transparent and beginning to turn brown. Add the baharat and turmeric and stir for another two minutes or so.
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and turn to coat. Cook over a medium heat until the pieces are lightly browned on all sides.
  3. Add the tomatoes, cloves, lemon rind, cinnamon, cardamom pods and salt. Stir to get everything well incorporated, then add the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for about 45 minutes.
  4. Wash the rice in cold water and drain. Add the rice, cilantro and parsley and bring back to a simmer.
  5. Keep cooking for another 35 to 40 minutes, until chicken is tender and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes.

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