Feast on Arabian delights

Feast on Arabian delights

Family gatherings are all about good company, and adding home-cooked meals to the dynamics makes them even better. Food plays an important role in the month of Ramzan.

To celebrate Ramzan feasts, here are some picks of Dubai’s most scrumptious meals that are packed with loads of flavour. Versatile and delectable, these recipes can be used for potlucks, get-togethers, and are sure to tickle a few taste buds. After all, a family that eats together stays together!

CHICKEN KABSSA

Recipe by chef Alie El Bourji, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai

Ingredients (Serves 8): Two kg of whole chicken; 7 gms of green cardamom; 20 gm of salt; 10 gm of white pepper; 1 gm of saffron; 5 gm of black pepper; 5 gm of cumin; 3 gm of nutmeg; 2 gm of cloves; 5 gm of coriander powder; 150 gm of onion; 75 gm of tomato paste; 300 gm of fresh tomato; 250 gm of capsicum; 600 gm of basmati rice; 150 ml of vegetables oil; 5 gm of dried lime; 25 gm of pine nuts; 25 gm of almond; 25 gm of raisins; a gram of bay leaves; 2 sticks of cinnamon

Method: Chop the onions, cut the tomatoes and capsicums in the wedges and chop the coriander.
Heat the oil in a casserole, and sauté the onions and capsicums. Add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cardamoms, cloves and whole black pepper. Then add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes and all the other spices along with salt. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Simmer and cook the chicken for 20 minutes.

Add rice to the pot and mix it well. Cover the pot again and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Add the raisins in the last 10 minutes of the cook time. Place the rice on a large serving dish, topped with the chicken. Garnish with almonds and pine nuts.

CHICKEN WITH OLIVES AND LEMON

Recipe by chef Khaled Abu, speciality sous chef — Ewaan Restaurant, Dubai.

Ingredients (Serves 2): Half a kilo of boneless skinned chicken breasts; a large onion (finely chopped); 3 small red potatoes (peeled and diced); 1.28 oz can of diced tomatoes; 4 large garlic cloves (minced); 1 and ½ cups of fat free chicken broth; a cup green olives (pitted); 3 tbsps of capers; rinsed ¼ cup of fresh parsley (finely chopped); a tsp of turmeric; a tsp of cumin; a tsp of paprika; ½ a tsp of nutmeg; ½ a tsp of cinnamon; juice of a lemon; zest from half a lemon; salt and pepper to taste

Method: Spray a large pot or Dutch oven with non-fat cooking spray, and set it over medium-high heat. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, and brown them in the pot. Remove the chicken after all the pieces are browned on each side. Add garlic and onions to the pot and sauté until they are tender.

Add the chicken to the pot again, and sprinkle cumin, paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add potatoes, tomatoes, and the chicken broth. Use enough broth to cover the chicken and potatoes. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat. Stir occasionally, until the chicken is tender and cooked through. This may take about 25 to 30 minutes.

Lastly, add lemon juice, lemon zest, capers, olives and parsley and heat through. Serve immediately.

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