Kuwait is a small middle eastern county roughly the size of Hawaii. Its western border abuts Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The dry, hot desert climate is somewhat lessened by its eastern border along the Persian Gulf. The country is largely urban and its capital Kuwait City is home to some very unique and modern architecture. Alcohol is illegal in Kuwait, so nightlife is largely based on food… delicious food! If there is one dish to check all the boxes and has the power to transport your pallet to the middle east, it must be Machboos!
Although time-consuming to make, this dish has been our unanimous favorite since the start of this blog. The spice blend of Baharat packed an aromatic punch and had a profile of earthy, spicy, and sweet notes which paired nicely with the hotness of the pepper.
The slow simmering preparation, left the chicken falling from the bone and extremely tender. The jasmine rice absorbed the flavor-packed broth perfectly and transformed the meal from soup to a consistency that could be successfully served on a plate or in a bowl.
This had all the feelings of comfort food but didn’t leave us feeling groggy, bloated, or regretful. The spices are known to be chock full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Do yourself a favor and just make it! Final score 9/10.
Machboos – Kuwait
Baharat Spice Blend
- 1/3 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1/3 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2/3 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 inch cinnamon stick
- 1/3 tsp whole cloves
- 3 green cardamom pod's seeds
- 1/3 tbsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 tbsp ghee
- 1 tbsp baharat
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 lb chicken I used chicken boneless chicken thighs
- 1 hot green chili seeded and diced
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 3 tomatoes diced
- 5 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 3 dried limes (loomi)
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups rice basmati
- Heat pan at medium high heat. Place whole seeds, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and cardamom pods in pan and toast for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Transfer above spices to grinder or mortar and pestle, allowing to cool. Once cool grind ingredients then add paprika and nutmeg to complete mix.
- Using three bowls, prep onion, ginger, chili pepper, and garlic placing in the first bowl. In the second place tumeric and baharat spices. In the third add tomatoes, loomi, cardamom pods, cinnamon, and cloves.
- In large pot/dutch oven fry chicken pieces in oil at medium/high heat. Cook until sides are browned and skin is crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add ghee to remaining oil in pan, add onion mixture and allow to sauté for 2 minutes. Then add tumeric and baharat mixing well.
- Return the chicken to the pot/dutch oven along with the last bowl of ingredients. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Once boil is achieved, lower heat to a simmer and cover for 1 hour.
- Add rice to pot, stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil then reduce to simmer once again covering and cooking for another 15-20 minutes or until rice is done. Make sure to stir mixture every 5 minutes to prevent burning/sticking. If rice gets dry add additional water until fully cooked. Serve and enjoy!