Alternative names Kabsah (Arabic: كبسة), makbūs (Arabic: مكبوس)
Course Meal
Place of origin Saudi Arabia
Region or state Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, also available in Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan
Main ingredients Rice (usually long-grain, such as basmati), meat, vegetables, and a mixture of spices (cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, black lime, bay leaves and nutmeg)
Variations Mandi
Cookbook: Kabsa  Media: Kabsa

Kabsa (Arabic: كبسة kabsah) is a family of mixed rice dishes that originates from Saudi Arabia, where it is commonly regarded as a national dish. Though kabsa is believed to be indigenous to Saudi Arabia, it is often served in countries such as Yemen, Palestine, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Iraq and Kuwait. The dish is also popularly known as makbūs (Arabic: مكبوس) in most Arab states of the Persian Gulf, but is served in the same way.


These dishes are usually made with rice (usually long-grain, such as basmati), meat, vegetables, and a mixture of spices. There are many kinds of kabsa and each kind has a uniqueness about it. Pre-mixed kabsa spices are now available under several brand names. These reduce preparation time, but may have a flavor distinct from traditional kabsa. The spices used in kabsa are largely responsible for its taste; these are generally black pepper, cloves, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, black lime, bay leaves and nutmeg.[1] The main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat. The meats used are usually chicken, goat, lamb, camel, beef, fish and shrimp. In chicken machbūs, a whole chicken is used. The spices, rice and meat may be augmented with almonds, pine nuts, peanuts, onions and sultanas.[2] The dish can be garnished with ḥashū (Arabic: حشو) and served hot with daqqūs (Arabic: دقّوس), which is a home-made Arabic tomato sauce.

Kabsa is also known as machbūs in the Persian Gulf region.

Meat for kabsa can be cooked in various ways. A popular way of preparing meat is called mandi. This is an ancient technique that originates in Yemen, whereby meat is barbecued in a deep hole in the ground that is covered while the meat cooks. Another way of preparing and serving meat for kabsa is mathbi, where seasoned meat is grilled on flat stones that are placed on top of burning embers. A third technique, madghūt, involves cooking the meat in a pressure cooker.

See also


  1. "Al Kabsa - Traditional Rice dish". Food.com. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  2. "How to Make Kabsa". Retrieved 23 June 2012.
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