Bahraini Machboos

Bahraini Machboos

Machboos or Majboos is claimed to be the national dish of the Kingdom of Bahrain. It is full of Arabian flavors. Different from other baharat spice blends, Omani baharat includes dried limes and roses. Dried limes, also called Loomi, Omani limes, or black limes, are an important ingredient in the cuisine around the Persian Gulf. No other lemon has this heavenly sweet-tangy citrus flavor.  
Hands-on Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bahraini
Servings 3


  • 2 lb chicken drumsticks
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 8 oz carrots shredded
  • 2 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 2-3 lemon for juice
  • butter & oil
  • salt & pepper

Machboos Culinary Spice Kit

  • Pouch [1] Omani limes, roses, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, cardamom, cloves, coriander, nutmeg
  • Pouch [2] Cardamom


  • 1 green chile finely chopped
  • lemon wedges
  • dates
  • red onions sliced



  • Rinse rice and cover with cold water.
  • Add 1.5 tbsp lemon juice.
  • Let soak 1/2 - 24 hours in the fridge.
  • Drain. Set aside.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.


  • In a large POT, fry onions in 2 tbsp butter over medium heat until translucent.
  • Add garlic, ginger, chili (optional), and Machboos [1] spices.
  • Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken, tomatoes, and broth.
  • Cover. Cook 20 minutes over medium-low heat.
  • Take chicken out and set aside.
  • Add rice and salt to taste. Mix well.
  • Cover. Bring to a boil.
  • Turn heat to low. Cook about 15 minutes until rice is cooked. Don’t stir!
  • Turn off. Mix in herbs.


  • In a PAN, heat 1 tbsp oil. Fry chicken over high heat until browned on all sides.


  • Mix carrots with Machboos [2] spices, lemon juice, salt & pepper, and 1 tbsp oil.


  • Serve chicken on top of rice and with the carrot salad. Add lemon juice to taste.
  • Optionally, serve with lemon wedges, dates, and sliced red onions.
  • Enjoy!


  • Substitute chicken with 1 lb fish filet or paneer.  Don’t cook it. Only fry it.
Marceline Reid-Jaques
Marceline Reid-Jaques
Karen Jones
Karen Jones
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ann davis
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Jessica Brown
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