|Alternative names||Kabsah (Arabic: كبسة), makbūs (Arabic: مكبوس)|
|Place of origin||Saudi Arabia|
|Region or state||Arabian peninsula|
|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)|
The dish is made with rice and meat. It can often be found served in countries such as Yemen, Somalia, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The dish is also popularly known as makbūs (مكبوس/مچبوس Gulf pron.: [mɑtʃˈbuːs]) in most Arab Gulf States, but is served in the same way.
The name comes from the Arabic word "kbs" (Arabic: "كبس") which literally means "press", alluding to the technique used in the cooking, where the ingredients are all cooked (or pressed) in one pot.
These dishes are usually made with rice (usually long-grain, almost always basmati), meat, vegetables, and a mixture of spices. There are many kinds of kabsa and each kind has a uniqueness about it. 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 main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat. The meats used are usually chicken, goat, lamb, camel, beef, fish or shrimp. In chicken machbūs, a whole chicken is used. 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.