Kabsa or Kabseh is a rice dish similar to biryani. It is commonly regarded as the national dish in Saudi Arabia and very popular in the other Persian Gulf states such as Bahrain and Kuwait. This is my interpretation of Kabsa for the “Cook Around the Globe” challenge – Arabian Peninsula. Be adventurous and try this recipe!
Kabsa is usually cooked with some sort of meat such as chicken or lamb. I made mine without the meat. The taste was so amazing, my wife and I agreed, adding anything else would be a distraction to the savory tastiness. The fragrance of the aromatics wafting out of the kitchen while the rice was cooking was heavenly. We both had seconds. I am still in awe of how delicious this turned out.
To create this dish, I spent a lot of time reading different recipes online. There are no restaurants near us, that I am aware of, which serve food from the Arabian Peninsula. I enjoyed exploring different sites and the different combinations of spices.
This recipe has several steps and ingredients. It will take at least an hour to make.
- 3 tablespoons earth balance
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped ripe tomato (1 tomato or 1 can diced)
- 2 cups chopped sweet yellow onion (1 large onion)
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon cardamom powder
- 10 cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon Kabsa spice *
- (equal parts - cardamom, black pepper, cumin, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, saffron, pomegranate powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cups vegetable broth ***
- 2 tablespoons earth balance (or olive oil)
- 1/2 cup golden raisins soaked in warm water
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw pistachios (shelled)
- 1/2 cup raw cashews **
- * This is a common Kabsa mix. I couldn’t find Kabsa spice, so I made my own following a few recipes online. I used a mortar and pestle to grind the spices myself. I omitted the saffron and pomegranate powder. The dish was still amazing.
- ** It is more traditional to use pine nuts, but I prefer the cashews.
- *** I used a heaping tablespoon of Rapunzel Vegetable Broth and 4 cups of water.
- Heat the earth balance and olive oil in a large stock pot and then cook the onions and tomatoes for 5-7 minutes or until the onions are clear.
- Rinse the basmati rice and let soak for a few minutes.
- After the onions are cooked, add the spices and dry rice.
- Stir the mixture to get the spices and rice warm while stirring them around for a few minutes.
- add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil
- when boiling, cover and reduce heat to low for 45 minutes
- fluff rice and cover for another ten minutes
- after fluffing rice, start a second skillet to roast the garnish
- heat the earth balance or oil and begin roasting the nuts
- drain the raisins and add them to the nuts
- keep the nuts moving because they can burn quickly. keep them moving until they are all uniformly golden brown
- plate the rice and pour the garnish on top
Makes 5+ cups.