Kuwait – Traditional Machboos (Spicy Rice With Chicken and Red Sauce)

by Fariha Saeed

About the dish

Machboos is the national dish of Kuwait. Kuwait has a very large variety of rice dishes which include many types of recipes MACHBOOS is one of them. The rice specialty with tender and juicy meat with delicious red sauce is amazing. There is no comparison with this dish. The rice is so spicy and if you are one of those persons who do not like spicy food you can add a little fewer chilies otherwise the spicy rice goes very well together with any kind of meat but the original recipe includes chicken the super soft and yummy chicken enhances the flavor. The red sauce is so delicious, You have seen sauces like yogurt sauce, mint sauce, chili sauce, and many other kinds of sauces but the red sauce is one of the best sauces to have with Machboos without red sauce this dish is incomplete.

Whenever visitors visit Kuwait they always try Machboos because of rice and who does not love rice. Almost every person on the earth loves rice for sure. This is a bit hard to make because this dish takes a lot of time to make because:

  1. you have to make the rice first
  2. you have to marinate chicken
  3. you have to fry the chicken
  4. you have to make red sauce

The very important thing about the rice is you can only use Basmati rice otherwise the rice will stick together and ruin the taste. The interesting thing about the dish is the rice is soaked in rose water and saffron. The other rice dishes which are made in rice do not add rose water to the rice. This is the only dish that includes rose water. The red sauce has another name which is ”Daqqus” but most of the people called DAQQUS the red sauce. This dish is available at street vendors and at five-star restaurants. This is one of the most famous dishes in Kuwait.

Ingredients and cooking

For the rice

  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 loomi (dried lemon)
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp dry coriander
  • 1tsp red chili flakes
  • 5 green chilies (chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp Saffron
  • 2 cups rose water
  • 5 tbsp olive oil


  • Take a large bowl and add the rose water, saffron, and rice in it and let it soak for 30 to 45 minutes. Now take a cooking pot and turn the heat on and then add the olive oil, tomatoes, onions in it and saute it for 15 minutes. After that add cinnamon stick, cumin, dry coriander, and mix well. When the rice becomes a little soft drain it and add the rice to the cooking pot. Do not throw the rose water away.
  • Now mix well and add the rose water and loomi in it and then cover the lid for 20 minutes.

For the chicken

  • 5 Chicken legs with skin
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • 3 cardamom
  • 1 tsp orange food color
  • 1 garlic clove paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 cup oil


  • First, make deep cuts in the chicken legs. Take a bowl and add all the ingredients in it and mix a well minimum of 15 minutes. Do not use a spatula or spoon to mix you have to use your hands to mix all the ingredients together. Let it rest for 2 hours.
  • Now take a pan and turn the heat medium and add the chicken one by one fry until golden brown and then take the chicken out.

For the red sauce (Daqqus)

  • 1 tomato
  • 3 garlic clove paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 6 tbsp water


Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients together.

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