Hey guys, I wanted to do something special for the new year as well as something lighter for stomach on the last day of this year. Thats how this dish came into my mind. Easy to prepare and light on stomach, I’m doing my last post with the Saudi Kabsa.
What is Kabsa? What Biriyani is to Indians, Kabsa is to Saudis or the Gulf region. Kabsa is considered to be the national dish of Saudi Arabia. Jordan, Syria, Yemen also follow the suit. Multiple forms of this dish can be seen in whole of middle east and in some other parts of the world. Matchboos, Makboos, Mandi, Madhfoon, all these are the same form of meat and rice with slight variations according to the region and culture. In terms of its overall makeup, this dish is somewhat similar to other ethnic dishes like the Spanish paella, where rice is simmered with spices and other meat and vegetable elements are added.
This dish is a milder version of Biriyani. These range from the elements that are traditional in the majority of world cuisines, such as chicken, beef, and lamb, to others that are more exotic or specific to the region, such as goat or even camel meat. Seafood is another option for kabsa dishes, where fish or shrimp can be used.
The meat that is used in kabsa is also cooked in a variety of different ways. In some of the more modern forms of this dish, the meat is simply cooked in a pressure cooker, which provides for various precise food handling standards, temperatures and cooking times. Some authentic cooks and restaurants cook the meat in a hole in the ground, where covering the hole with various items seals in the heat and provides for a slow cooking that results in a tender meat.
In addition to meat, some vegetables like onions and tomatoes may be used in a kabsa dish. Pine nuts and raisins are the two elements which adds on the exotic flavor of this dish.
Another major element of the dish is the unique spices that go into it. Many cooks add varieties of sweet spices, from cloves and cinnamon to the flavorful nutmeg. Saffron, a royale in spice kingdom, which is also used in Spanish paella, is added to kabsa. In addition, peppercorns and other general spices also add flavor to this dish.
Some versions of this dish rely on simmering all of the ingredients together, often for over an hour. Other flavor ingredients will add complexity to the dish, where lime juice, tomato puree, or garlic are also traditional elements of the dish. This sort of food is a tasty way for people around the world to enjoy the flavors of the Arabian region.
Now a days you can get readymade spice mix for cabs but I went out and prepare my own.
I tried out different ways of kabsa and this recipe turned out to be the best and somewhat in restaurant in style. This is the easiest way of prepare this dish. I just love the raisins and its crunchiness and sweetness in every bite and this is the highlight of this dish. The tomato gravy adds in the extra punch and moistness much needed for this dish. What I want to highlight is that this dish is so light on stomach, you wont feel the heaviness you get when you have the protein and biriyani in a usual manner.
Watch out for the tomato gravy and Kabsa spice mix recipes soon hitting my blog. Wishing you all a very happy 2017. God bless you all.
In a pressure cooker add the lamb chunks, whole spices and 800 ml of water. Cook till done.
Strain the stock from meat discarding the whole spices. Add the stock cube to the fresh stock and dissolve it.
Saute the onions till translucent in oil. Add the garlic and fry till aromatic and go on to add the tomatoes and tomato puree.
Saute this till well blended and browned. Add the cooked lamb and fry till browned.
Halfway through add 1 teaspoon of kabsa masala.
In a casserole, heat some butter, when melted, add the raisins and fry till golden and blotted up.
Add the stock and let it boil.
Add the rice, salt and water required apart from the stock. I added a liter of water. Allow it to cook till halfway through.
Give gentle random stir in between. Sprinkle the spice powder and give a mix.
When the water is almost dry, place the lamb chunks on top and cook rice till done.
Separate the lamb from the rice. Spread the rice on a platter and place the meat on top and serve.
Accompanied with tomato gravy.