|Alternative names||Kabsah (Arabic: كبسة), makbūs/machbūs (Arabic: مكبوس/مچبوس)|
|Place of origin||Saudi Arabia|
|Region or state||Najd, Hijaz, Saudi Arabia|
|Main ingredients||Rice (usually long-grain, almost always basmati), chicken, vegetables, and a mixture of spices (cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, black lime, bay leaves and nutmeg)|
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Kabsa (Arabic: كبسة kabsah) is a mixed rice dish, served on a communal platter, that originates from Saudi Arabia but is commonly regarded as a national dish in countries of the Arabian peninsula.
The dish is made with rice and meat. It can often be found served in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, South of Iran, the Negev desert in Israel, and the Malabar Coast of India. The dish is also popularly known as makbūs/machbūs (مكبوس/مچبوس Gulf pron.: [mɑtʃˈbuːs]).
The name comes from the word kabasa (Arabic: كبس), literally meaning to press or squeeze, alluding to the technique used in the cooking where the ingredients are all cooked in (or "squeezed into") one pot.
Pre-mixed kabsa spices are now available under several brand names. These reduce preparation time, but may have a flavor distinct from traditional kabsa. The spices used in kabsa are largely responsible for its taste; these are generally black pepper, cloves, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, black lime, bay leaves and nutmeg.
The spices, rice and meat may be augmented with almonds, pine nuts, peanuts, onions and sultanas. The dish can be garnished with ḥashū (Arabic: حشو) and served hot with daqqūs (Arabic: دقّوس), which is a home-made Arabic tomato sauce.
Methods of cooking
Meat for kabsa can be cooked in various ways. A popular way of preparing meat is called mandi. This is an ancient technique that originates in Yemen, whereby meat is barbecued in a deep hole in the ground that is covered while the meat cooks. Another way of preparing and serving meat for kabsa is mathbi, where seasoned meat is grilled on flat stones that are placed on top of burning embers. A third technique, madghūt, involves cooking the meat in a pressure cooker.