Chicken Machboos Recipe

Bahrain’s cuisine is a reflection of the country’s rich cultural heritage and its vibrant spice trade history. Chicken Machboos is a traditional Bahraini dish that tantalizes the taste buds with its aromatic blend of spices and tender chicken. This fragrant one-pot wonder is a celebration of Arabian flavors, with each bite offering a harmonious combination of rice, chicken, and a medley of exotic spices. Immerse yourself in the enticing flavors of Bahrain with our delightful Chicken Machboos recipe, a true delight for food enthusiasts seeking an authentic Arabian culinary experience.


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Baharat spice mix (a blend of ground spices including cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional, for heat)
  • 4 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onions to the pot and sauté until they turn golden brown and caramelized.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic and sauté for another minute until fragrant.
  4. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and cook until they are lightly browned on all sides.
  5. Mix in the Baharat spice mix, turmeric powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, and red chili powder (if using). Stir well to coat the chicken with the aromatic spices.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot and cook until they release their juices and start to soften.
  7. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the pot, stirring gently to combine with the chicken and spices.
  8. Pour in the chicken broth or water, ensuring that it covers the chicken and rice by about an inch.
  9. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the chicken is tender.
  10. Remove the pot from heat and let it rest, covered, for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  11. Fluff the rice with a fork, garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley, and serve the Chicken Machboos with lemon wedges on the side.
  12. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the dish before enjoying this delightful Bahraini creation.

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