Kabsa – A Delicious Fusion Recipe!

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When it comes to cooking, I’ve always been interested in trying out new recipes and experimenting with different flavors. So, when I first heard about kabsa, a popular Middle Eastern dish, I was immediately intrigued. However, when I tried the authentic version of the dish, I found it to be too strong for my taste buds. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to make my own version of kabsa.

Before I dive into my unique version of kabsa, let me give you a brief history and origin of this delectable dish. Kabsa, also known as machboos or majboos, is a rice dish that originated in Yemen and has become popular in countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait. It is believed to have been brought to the Arabian Peninsula by traders and merchants from India and Indonesia. Over time, the dish has evolved and adapted to the local tastes and ingredients of different regions.

The traditional kabsa is made with fragrant Basmati rice, a variety of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, and black pepper, and meat (usually chicken or lamb). It is often served with cooked vegetables and a spicy tomato sauce on the side. The combination of spices in the dish gives it a distinctive aroma and flavor that is loved by many.

However, for someone like me who prefers milder flavors, the traditional kabsa can be a bit overwhelming. So, I turned to YouTube and asked some friends who are familiar with the dish for tips on how to make a milder version. That’s when my brother, who is currently working in Saudi Arabia, suggested using a kabsa mix that he bought for me.

This kabsa mix contains a blend of spices that gives the dish its signature flavor. With this mix, I was able to control the amount of spice and adjust it to my liking.

Now, let’s get to my version of kabsa. To make this dish, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • 150g Kabsa mix
  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 1 pc Cinnamon stick
  • 2 chicken (thigh part)

Before cooking, soak the Basmati rice in water for 30 minutes. This will help to achieve fluffy and separated grains of rice once cooked.

To start, sauté onions and tomatoes in a pan with some cooking oil. Once they are soft, add the kabsa mix and continue to sauté for a few minutes. This will help to release the flavors of the spices in the mix.

Next, pour in 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Then, add the chicken to the pan and let it cook until it is tender. At this point, you can remove the chicken and air fry it for a crispy texture. This is optional, but it adds an extra dimension to the dish.

In the same pan, add the soaked Basmati rice along with a cinnamon stick and let it cook until it is 80% done. Once the chicken is air fried, add it back to the pan with the rice and continue cooking until the rice is fully cooked. The result is a flavorful and aromatic kabsa rice with tender chicken.

Now, here comes the twist – kimchi! Yes, you read that right. I discovered that kimchi pairs perfectly with kabsa rice. The tangy and spicy taste of kimchi balances out the flavors of kabsa and adds a unique touch to this Middle Eastern dish.

For those who are not familiar, kimchi is a staple food in Korean cuisine made with fermented vegetables (usually cabbage) and a variety of seasonings. It is known for its bold and pungent flavors and is often served as a side dish.

To sum it up, my version of kabsa is a fusion of Middle Eastern and Korean flavors. It may not be the most traditional way of making kabsa, but it is definitely a delicious one. So, the next time you want to try something new in the kitchen, give this recipe a try and let me know how it turns out for you. Happy cooking!


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