Chicken majboos is a traditional recipe from the Sultanate of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the entire Persian Gulf region.
Oman is a sultanate of the Middle East bordering the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west and Yemen to the southwest. It overlooks the Arabian Sea to the south and east, on the Gulf of Oman to the northeast.
Oman’s traditional cuisine revolves around two main dishes: shuwa and biryani rice.
Shuwa, which is the main dish, is a lamb dish stewed for 48 hours in a kind of underground sand oven. The lamb, previously marinated, is wrapped in a banana or palm leaf for cooking during which no steam should escape.
Biryani rice, flavored with saffron, is served on a large plate. With meat, lamb, chicken or fish, often with tuna, everything is grilled over a fire. The rice is flavored with tomato, chili and onion sauce. It is often accompanied by a salad. There is also a barbecue version in which the lamb or chicken skewers are marinated in spicy yogurt and then grilled.
The main ingredient for the majboos recipe is rice. It is flavored with two essential spices: saffron and cardamom. It is prepared with a choice of protein such as chicken, lamb or fish, cooked until tender and then associated with the rice.
Majboos in Arabic means “be engaged”. If today’s majboos is widespread in the Persian Gulf, it was still “the” dish for special occasions especially engagements and weddings until recently…. An engagement!
Let’s talk a little about rice which is the basis of Asian cuisine. The most important foods are often based on rice. Asians are known to have a healthy diet and for good reason! They definitely hold the record for longevity. Scientific discoveries have demonstrated that rice was a source of almost perfect food, with an ideal balance between proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It is clearly the key to a healthy diet. I therefore appeal to women, who, at a time when the swimsuit is the main garment: “No, rice is not fattening!”
Majboos is a deliciously scented dish that I highly recommend!
Chicken majboos is a traditional spiced Arab rice dish that is similar to Indian biryani.
- 2½ cups basmati rice
- 4 chicken breasts , diced
- 2 onions , finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic , crushed
- 2 slices preserved lemon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 large tomato , peeled and seeded
- 1 cup white raisins
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- A pinch saffron , infused in warm water
- 10 pods cardamom , crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- ½ bunch cilantro , chopped
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts , roasted
- Olive oil
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cucumber , peeled
- 2 cloves garlic
- A few mint leaves
- Cook rice in salted boiling water according to the time indicated on the package.
- Drain the rice and set aside.
- In a little olive oil over medium heat, brown the chicken with the onion and garlic until reaching a light golden color.
- Add turmeric, cinnamon, masala, cardamom, saffron, preserved lemon, tomato, raisins and lemon juice.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Stir regularly for 3 minutes, then add boiling water.
- Simmer until the sauce if a little creamy.
- Finally, add the rice and mix well.
- Sprinkle cilantro and pine nuts and serve.
- Mix all the ingredients and refrigerate.