Authentic Bahraini Chicken Machboos Recipe

Bahraini Chicken Machboos

Bahraini Chicken Machboos is a classic Arabian Gulf dish that’s full of flavor, combining tender chicken with fragrant rice, spices, and a unique blend of herbs. This recipe will guide you through creating this comforting and hearty meal that is perfect for a family dinner or special occasion.


  • 1 kg chicken, cut into pieces
  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • 5 cups of water or chicken broth
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/4 cup toasted nuts (almonds, pine nuts), for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and add the chopped onions. Sauté until they become translucent.
  2. Add garlic to the onions and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  3. To the onion mixture, add the chicken pieces and brown them on all sides.
  4. Introduce the chopped tomatoes, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and bay leaf and cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes soften.
  5. Season the mixture with turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, black pepper, ground ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Stir well to coat the chicken evenly with the spices.
  6. Pour in the water or chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through, which typically takes about 30 minutes.
  7. While the chicken cooks, rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear to remove excess starch.
  8. Once the chicken is done, remove it from the pot and set aside. You can keep it warm in the oven if preferred.
  9. In the same pot, add the rinsed rice to the remaining liquid and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and let it cook covered until the rice is done and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  10. Optionally, you can lay the cooked chicken on top of the rice during the last 10 minutes of cooking to let the flavors meld together.
  11. Fluff the rice with a fork, then transfer the machboos to a serving platter. Arrange the chicken pieces on top of the rice.
  12. Garnish with chopped cilantro, raisins, and toasted nuts if using.

This Bahraini Chicken Machboos is traditionally served with a side of yogurt or salad and enjoyed with friends and family. Each bite promises a burst of Middle Eastern flavors that will entice your tastebuds and leave you craving more!

By admin

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