• 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 pound (about 500 g) chicken or lamb, cut into pieces
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Kuwaiti spice blend (Baharat) *
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups chicken or lamb broth
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or ghee
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes, then drain.
  2. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil or ghee over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.
  3. Add the minced garlic, chopped tomatoes, and Kuwaiti spice blend (Baharat) to the pot. Stir well and cook for a couple of minutes until the tomatoes soften.
  4. Add the chicken or lamb pieces to the pot and cook until they are browned on all sides.
  5. Add the ground turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, coriander, and cumin to the pot. Stir well to coat the meat with the spices.
  6. Pour in the chicken or lamb broth and season with salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the meat is tender and cooked through.
  7. In a separate pot, bring water to a boil. Add the soaked and drained rice to the boiling water and cook until the rice is parboiled (partially cooked). Drain the rice and set aside.
  8. Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside. Keep the broth for later use.
  9. In the same pot used to cook the meat, layer the parboiled rice on top. Pour some of the reserved meat broth over the rice, ensuring it is evenly distributed.
  10. Cover the pot tightly with a lid or aluminum foil and cook over low heat for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked and fluffy.
  11. To serve, fluff the rice with a fork and transfer it to a large serving platter. Arrange the cooked meat pieces on top of the rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley.
  12. Machboos is often served with a side of yogurt or a tangy tomato and cucumber salad.

Note: Kuwaiti Baharat spice blend can be made by combining equal parts ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground black pepper, ground coriander, ground cumin, and ground cloves.

Machboos is a flavorful and satisfying dish that represents the culinary heritage of Kuwait. Enjoy!



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