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Rice on a big serving platter topped with chicken and garnished with parsley.
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4.93 from 13 votes

One pot Middle Eastern chicken and rice (kabsa)

A flavorful one pot chicken and rice recipe for an easy weeknight dinner.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle East
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 270.1kcal
Author: Amira


  • 2 Tablespoons (36g) ghee/butter or oil.
  • 1/2 Tablespoon (3g) dry ground coriander.
  • 1/2 Tablespoon (3g) paprika.
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.
  • 1 cinnamon stick.
  • 3 cardamom pods.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • 1 dry lime. Note1
  • 1 garlic clove crushed.
  • 1 (280g) Large onion , diced.
  • 1 1/2 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs. Note2
  • 1 cup (200g) basmati rice, soaked in tap water for 15 minutes.
  • 2 Tablespoons (40g) tomato paste.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt or to your liking. I've used pink sea salt.
  • 2 cups water or chicken stock. Note3


  • n a non stick deep skillet, heat ghee, add all the spice and stir for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add garlic and stir for 20 seconds then add diced onion and stir for 3 more minutes.
  • Add chicken pieces and cook for about 3 minutes, tuning to the other side halfway through.
  • Add rice, tomato paste and salt then stir everything well to distribute tomato paste evenly.
  • Pour water and bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and continue to cook on low for 30 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  • Turn heat off, uncover and let it set for a couple of minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve.


Note1: It is highly recommended to use dry limes, you can easily purchase this from any Middle East store. If you cannot find it, then feel free to skip it.
Note2: Use any sort of chicken you have. Feel free to use bone-in, skin on chicken pieces. I also made it with Cornish chicken and it was delicious.
Note3: In my little home we like rice more with water than cooked with stock, but you can use stock for more flavor.
Please check the nutrition disclaimer policy.


Calories: 270.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.4g | Protein: 20.9g | Fat: 14.5g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 347.3mg | Potassium: 158.9mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2.3g | Vitamin A: 760IU | Vitamin C: 7.5mg | Calcium: 21mg