Chicken Majboos

Time: 40 mins

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 whole chicken (about 1½ kg), cut in pieces
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 green hot chilli peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 4 pods green cardamom
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 bay-leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 dried lime

For marinade

  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive Oil

For garnish

  • 4 tbsp pistachios
  • 4 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 4 tbsp golden raisins



In a large bowl, add the rice. Rinse with water 2 to 3 times or until the water is clear. Cover with water and let stand for 30 minutes. Turn oven on low to medium heat, add the cut pieces of chicken, and cover with 4 cups (1 litre) of water.

In a skillet on medium to high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and add half of the sliced onions. Fry for 2 minutes while stirring. Add the garlic, green hot chili peppers, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods and cloves. Continue toasting for 2 minutes while stirring.Add the turmeric, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and dried lime. Stir for 30 seconds.Add the spice and onion mixture to the Dutch oven with the chicken.Stir, and cook covered for 45 minutes.

Take the pieces of chicken out of the oven and place in a large bowl. Drain the rice, and add to the chicken broth. Cook the rice covered, on low heat, for about 20 minutes.In a small bowl, add the turmeric, garam masala and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well. Pour the spice paste over the chicken and coat each piece well.

In a skillet on medium to high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the remaining onion. Cook while stirring for 6 minutes or until the onion turns slightly brown. Add the pistachios, the almonds and the raisins and continue frying for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. In the same skillet over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and add the marinated chicken pieces. Toast the chicken for 2 minutes on each side.

When the rice has absorbed all the water, after about 20 minutes, take off the heat and transfer to a large serving dish. Top with the onion and dried fruits. Finally, add the chicken pieces on top.