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2 Mar 2007

Arabic Rice / Cupsa / Machboos

I have tried this dish many times.Very easy to prepare and delicious.Children will love it since it is no spicy and rice is very tasty.You can add nuts, dry fruits and vegetables to this.

Chicken, cut up- 1 Kg
Tomato paste, small can- 1
Onion chopped - 1
Rice basmati - 4 cups
Olive oil- 1/4 cup
Cinnamon-4 sticks of 1/2 " size
Cloves-4 numbers
Black pepper corns -1/2 tsp
Cumin-1/4 tsp
Cardamoms-4 numbers

Wash and clean rice.
Heat Olive oil over medium heat in deep cooking pot.
Add chopped onions, and saute until transparent.
Add chicken, stir and cook half way done.(If you like add little pepper powder).
Add spices.Stir in 8 cups water, add tomato paste and rice.
Allow to come to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat.
Let cook until rice is tender.


  1. Arabi Rice is so good.I love the brown colored Biryani.Recipe sounds great,I will try it.My kids will love anything with Chicken!:)

  2. Hi Seena I once had some Lebanese rice with lamb and it was delicious. I wonder if this recipe is the same as the ingredients sound about right to how it tasted. I will try this sometime and let you know how it went - if it is as nice as your vada recipe I'm sure it will taste great! :)


  3. Jeena,
    It might be the same rice you have eaten.This is the usual arabic rice also known as cupsa. I love this rice which tastes great and very very easy to prepare! Hope you will love it.

  4. seena you mean Arabic Rice = Machboos .you want Machboos Reciepe..Write Comment box.Yes OR No?


  5. Dear Anon,
    Thanks for asking.
    I need the recipe.
    Please share more recipes if you have,
    thanks again.

  6. Growing up my best friend was arabic and her mother would make this simple chicken and rice dish that I absolutely loved! My friend move to Califormia and I lost touch and her mothers recipe. This one is not quite the one I had but it is something I really want to try. My problem is that I'm not sure of the amounts of the ingredients. It says Cinnamon - 4, and Cardamom - 4, but 4 what? I know that I can put in 4 Cloves but 4 sticks of Cinnamon sounds like way too much and I'm not sure how Cardamom comes. Please help me out because my mouth is set for this, I'm going to be obsessing over it until I get to have some!
    Awaiting with drool...... Lori

  7. Dear Lori,
    I have edited the recipe for you.
    Use 1/2 inch sizes of cinnamon sticks and for cloves and cardamoms use each 4 numbers.
    Since you try this for first time, try only with half of the ingredients. Since 4 cups of rice is enough to feed 5 or 6 persons, it would be too much for you, I think.
    I am not sure how much would be the amount of tomato paste in a small can, but I usually use 2 Tbspoons of tomato paste for 1 cup rice while making this.
    I love this delicious rice very much and would prepare in every week.I have drafted my version with fish and will post later, insha Allah.
    Let me know how your dish turned out and don't hesitate to ask me if you have any more doubts..
    Good luck ! :)

  8. Seena,

    Years ago, my friend from Saudi Arabia made a dish similar to this. I do recall fresh tomatoes being used and the chicken was allowed to boil and then taken from the pot and browned in the oven. Do you know of this variation? Thank you.

  9. Anon,
    I have seen that type Arabic rice, but never tried.If you want to get more information about it, will try to get..
    You can use fresh tomatoes in this recipe too.. :)

  10. Hi Seena,
    The Arabic rice recipe is too good...its really "simple nd delicious" I tried many of your recipes and this was the first one that i tried out.Thanks for this wonderful recipe :)

  11. Shemli, am so happy to see u here! :)
    Sometimes I would wonder why don't so many people try this real 'simple and delicious' recipe? ! This is a usual lunch box item for my kids.It is so healthy since there is not much masala etc and is prepared using olive oil. My daughter says, her friends have started asking, Oh,u bring biryani everyday! :D
    here I use fresh tomatoes instead of paste.!
    Thanks Shemli for the comment.. :)

  12. Hi itha,had been in kerala for some time.How much tomatoes will i hav 2 use instead of the tomato paste?

  13. Zeb, Salam, was thinking to mail u! :)
    For 1/2 kg chicken, 2 medium sized tomatoes would be enough.
    Hope u are doing well.. :)

  14. can i use cocnut oil or butter instead of olive oil..which one will taste better??

  15. Sareena, olive oil is good for making this.. Have never used any other oil since I loved the taste of olive oil in this.. I think you can replace it with other oils like sunflower oils, but not sure... :)

  16. hi...i love this recipe..can't wait to try it..!!!

  17. hi seena how r U .i am very grateful to u cuz i just love kabsa very much.I will try it for u have the recipe of rice stuffed brinjals, a dish loved by arabs.

  18. salam seena, i had eat this biryani in dubai, after coming back i is to miss this vary much...
    thanks for such a delious recipe....

  19. Sara, sorry for the belated reply. Don't have stuffed brinjal recipe now, will try to post, once after I tried it.. Insha Allah.. :)

    Sana, Alaikkum salam, comeback once you tried this.. am planning to make it tomorrow insha Allah.. :)

  20. Dear Seena I like your Arabic rice Kabsa


  21. Thanks Seenath! Visit again... :)

  22. Salam Seena,This is a very useful site,thanks for your sincere efforts & wish you all the very best.

  23. Salam Seena,
    This is a very useful site,thanks for your sincere efforts & wish you all the very best.

  24. Thanks Saji! Glad to see you here, hope to see again.. :)

  25. dear seena,
    i love this recipe its so delicious and then easy to prepare..tnx
    just one thing can you some sauce recipes my friends called it (marag)? tried and its so great...
    god bless

  26. Thanks!
    Will try to know about 'marag'.. keep visiting.. :)

  27. hi seena,

    Ur Arabic rice looks yummy...will definitely try this! Also...what side dish go well with this? i guess raita is sufficient..

  28. Reshmi, Yeah, raita is sufficient.. try out, am sure you are going to love it.. :)

  29. Reshmi, forgot to tell you, lemon pickle is also tastes great with this.. :)

  30. hi seena,

    can u please provide receipes for some chinese items also...somethings like manchurian, chilly chicken, fried rice etc etc....
    more receipes u give more happy we would be!!!!

  31. in saudi arabia its pronounced more like keb-suh (suh as in sup or suds)

  32. are these Traditional Arabic rice (URZ)?
    I need recipe for URZ.
    Please if this is not that can u provide me needed?

  33. Salam, Seena, and everyone else- I was delighted to find your site! Recipe looks yummy!!! Would you happen to have a traditional recipe for Kifta (not sure how to spell in english, so I wrote it out as it sounds). May God bless and keep you. And please keep delighting us with your wonderful recipes.

  34. Hello Mam Seena.Im Pen and Iam very much deighted to find this site and try your traditional Arabian recipe. "Cupsa", i dont know what it is..i've never taste this in my entire life but, i've always heard how delicious this Arabian traditional recipe from my sister and Father and also from my husband. My father was ( "was" because he passed away last year after his retirement working in Saudi ) a worker in Saudi for more than 30 yrs, and he always and never forget telling us that this Arabian traditional recipe is very delicious. And even my sister and husband, they agree too! And now, its my time to find out why they love this recipe. I will try to prepare this one tonight for my husband and daughter. I just hope that i will make it right. Wish me luck Ma'm Seena.

    Truely yours,

  35. hi my name is abilash , any way i will try this recipe tomorow for qatar national day menu , for guest.......let seee wat going to happen.........


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