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3 Saudi Arabian Dishes (and their Recipes) that will Make Your Mouth Water

If you’re looking for something to please your taste buds, look no further: as Saudi Arabia gears up to open its doors to the world by developing its tourism sector, its cuisine is slowly gaining popularity across the globe. If you’ve never had any of the Kingdom’s delicious dishes, here are three staples to devour and delight in:

1- Kabsa

If Saudi Arabians were to mention one national dish, Kabsa would definitely be it. A slow cooked dish of chicken and rice infused with aromatic spices, this is a meal that guarantees great satisfaction.

There are lots of recipes online to try but the basic recipe calls for preparing the chicken in a broth made of fried onions, garlic, chilies, salt, and spices (black pepper, cloves, cumin, cardamom, coriander, saffron, turmeric, cinnamon, black lime, nutmeg, and bay leaves). Then adding tomatoes to the broth, cooking for a bit, and finally adding rinsed rice as soon as the chicken is tender. Twenty minutes later of extra cooking, your dish is ready.

2- Mutabbaq

A delicious, buttery, folded treat, mutabbaq is a delicacy that is said to have originated in Yemen. A crowd favorite is definitely the vegetable-stuffed mutabbaq (although meat options exist as well), which can be found at many a street vendor in Jeddah, making them a great midday snack.

For exact portions, you can try out different recipes online, but the basic way of making this delicious snack requires putting together the dough, which means mixing bread flour, water, oil, salt, and an egg together. Then, by using oil, separating the dough into small balls and letting them sit and rise for a few hours. Next, rolling the balls out. filling them with your favorite stuffing, and frying them to perfection. Basic stuffing requires frying your minced meat of choice or medley of vegetables with butter, onions, tomatoes, and garlic, some spices such as cumin, coriander, black pepper, chili, and eggs.

3- Saleeg

This white-rice dish cooked in broth is said to originate from the Hejaz region in the west of Saudi Arabia, where it is commonly regarded as a national dish of that region.

It can be prepared with chicken or other meat and is similar to Italian risotto in that it is slow cooked in liquid (in both milk and broth) and served hot. There are many video tutorials online but the gist of the process is basically cooking your meat in water, with spices and a whole onion, removing the meat once its tender, and then brushing it with butter and baking in the oven with extra salt and pepper to taste. Next, sift the broth to remove the whole spices and onion. Then, cook the rice (which has been soaking for half an hour) in this broth for 30 minutes. Finally add some milk, butter, seasoning, and salt, let the rice cook for a few more minutes, and serve your thick, creamy Saleeg with tender oven-roasted meat.

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