The Fact Maker

Machboos al dijaj (Lebanese Chicken Pilaf)


Basmati Rice 1 kg
Chicken (curry cut) 1 kg
Onions (sliced) 500 grms
Tomatoes (sliced) 300 grms
Parsley half bunch
Mint Leaves half bunch
Coriander leaves half bunch
Ghee 300 ml
Almonds 50 grms
Pistachio 50 grms
Cashew nuts 50 grms
Olive oil 100 ml
Cinnamon Powder 2 Tblsp
Roasted Cumin powder 2 Tblsp
Paprika powder 2 Tblsp

Method of Preparation –

  1. Use a heavy bottom pan for the Process.
  2. Add Ghee about 2 to 3 Tblsp, once hot add whole spices, once the aroma is released add sliced onions and cook until translucent.
  3. Add in all the Spice mix and cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add chicken and sear the meat well. And reserve for later process.
  5. Immediately add the rice on top, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Stir all the ingredients together, and then add hot water at a 1:2 ratio. Bring the water to a boil until the rice is cooked about 80%, then reduces the heat to low, cover the pot and allows the rice 15 minutes to cook at the lowest temperature.
  7. Once the rice fully cooked, turn the heat off, but don’t uncover the pot. You’ll want to leave the rice undisturbed for 5 minutes to allow the steam to finish cooking the rice. Then you can uncover the pot and fluff with a fork or a flat spatula.
  8. Grill the reserved Chicken and top it on the cooked rice and serve hot.

Note:  The dish can be topped with assorted Nuts which are fried in Ghee.

By Chef Jagadish Purushothama