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Machboos Vertical

Machboos (Bahrain)

Machboos is a chicken and rice dish from Bahrain. Its signature flavor is made by combining Baharat seasoning, tomatoes, and loomi (dried lemons/limes) with the rice!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Bahrain
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 5 servings


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 large onions , chopped
  • 1 tbsp Baharat seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 chicken, jointed
  • 1 can drained and chopped tomatoes
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 full loomi
  • 2 pieces cinnamon bark
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onions for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Stir in the Baharat seasoning and turmeric and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Cut about 6 slits into the side of each loomi with a knife. Add the chicken pieces and cook until browned slightly. Add the tomatoes, cardamom, cloves, loomi, cinnamon, and salt and stir well. 
  • Pour in 2.5 cups water and cover. Simmer gently for 45 minutes.
  • Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Add into the stew, add the herbs, and bring back to a simmer. Cook on low for about 30-35 minutes. Stir gently once or twice. 
  • After 30 minutes, check the rice. Cook longer if necessary. 
  • When done, remove the mixture from the heat and leave to sit for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice mixture with a fork. Enjoy! 


Recipe adapted from The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook by Tess Mallos. 
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