Omani Maqbous

Omani Maqbous





Yield 6 people


For the Chicken and Spice Marinade

For the Rice and Braising Stock

For the Toppings


Stage 1: Marinating the chicken

  1. Start by combining all the spices for the marinade in a bowl. 
  2. Place your chicken thighs in the bowl and coat them evenly in the spice mix. Once they're coated, cover the bowl and let it marinate for at least four hours in the refrigerator.
  3. At this point, rinse the chana dal and leave to soak in a bowl.

Stage 2: Cooking the chicken

  1. Combine your white onion, garlic, ginger, and olive oil in a food processor, and pulse it into a smooth, non-clumpy paste.
  2. Roast this paste in a braising pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Be sure to stir constantly to keep it from burning.
  3. Add your cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, and cardamom pods into the pan and roast for 2 more minutes, still stirring constantly.
  4. Next up, add in your marinated chicken thighs and sear for about a minute on each side.
  5. Pour in just enough chicken stock to cover the chicken about 2/3 to the top.
  6. Raise your stovetop heat to bring the stock to a boil, and then cover the pot with a lid and braise on a simmering heat for 20 minutes.
  7. When the chicken is done, pull them out of the stock (which you'll save for the rice) and set them on a colander or cooling rack to air-dry for at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle some salt on the chicken skins to draw out any excess moisture.

Stage 3: Cooking the Rice

  1. Put the basmati rice in a large bowl and rinse it under a cold running tap until the water runs clear.
  2. Next, soak the rice in water for 15 minutes and let it sit.
  3. As your rice sits, drain your chana dal and place it into a pot, then cook it on a simmering heat for about 45 minutes after bringing the water to an initial boil.
  4. Returning to the rice, drain your bowl and allow the rice to air-dry for 10 minutes.
  5. Place your braising pot back on the stovetop and heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the rice, coating the grains evenly with oil.
  6. Ladle in 4 cups of the cooking stock, including the whole spices.
  7. Bring the stock to a boil, put the lid on, and then cook for 18 minutes over the lowest possible heat setting.
  8. After 18 minutes, turn off the stovetop heat and keep the lid on for another 10 minutes.
  9. After 10 minutes, take off the lid and fluff the rice gently with a meat fork.
  10. Soon thereafter, your dal should be fully cooked, so take it off the heat and set aside.

Stage 4: Finishing and Assembling your Maqbous

  1. Preheat your oven broiler to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (~220 Celcius)
  2. Arrange the chicken pieces on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil, then broil for 10-15 minutes.
  3. As your chicken broils, soak the raisins in rose water for 5-10 minutes, then drain.
  4. Next, soak a pinch of saffron threads in warm water for 5- 10 minutes.
  5. Take a pan and heat it over medium-high heat then add a tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Sauté your raisins and almonds for 2-3 minutes. The raisins should puff up. Once they have, take them off the heat and set aside.
  7. In the same pan, sauté your cooked chana dal, adding a tablespoon of the saffron-infused water, then set aside.
  8. Tint about half of the cooked basmati rice with the rest of your saffron-infused water.
  9. Finally, top the basmati rice with dal, raisins, almonds, and the chicken pieces, and enjoy!

Courses Main Dish

Cuisine Omani

Recipe by Arousing Appetites: Home to the Serious Cook at