Al Bukhari bil Dajaj



Chicken Bukhari rice is one of my favorite Saudi recipes. The flavors of the rice, spices, carrots and chicken just mix so well together. I have found that it’s better to try to use certain spices when cooking Gulf recipes than to always take the easy way and just use your already mixed Arabic spice (baharat). While it does taste great and is something that I use in some of my dishes, it will also make all of your dishes taste the same way. Unfortunately that is a complaint I have with most food places here in Riyadh. They all use the same Arabic spice mix on all of their recipes and regardless of what they are they all end up tasting the exact same way.

If you use a good rice brand then you will not need to soak your rice usually but when not cooking it the traditional way I have found that it works on best in the end to soak the rice while you prepare and cook the rest of the meal. You can use a whole cut up chicken or whatever pieces that you may like as well. I just usually try to use chicken breast since they are healthier. If you want to try my vegetarian recipe of this dish check that out here.

1-1/2 cups basmati rice (soaked in water for 20 minutes and rinsed)
4-6 skinless and boneless chicken breast
2-1/4 cups water
1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 medium white onion, dice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, diced
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tomato, diced
1 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube (I used Maggi)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 shaiba leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large saute pan on medium heat add olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook for about 4 minutes until onions are tender (but not golden). Add the chicken breast and then sprinkle cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cardamom, turmeric and shaiba leaves on top. Cook for a few minutes until chicken is slightly golden on outside.

2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon cube and water. Bring to a full boil, cover and reduce to low. Cook for 15 minutes.

3. Remove the chicken breast and set aside. Add carrots, salt, pepper and rice, mix. Bring to a full boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes, add chicken breast cover and cook another 5 minutes just to warm. Serve chicken bukhari with salata hara.

Yields: 3-4 servings

14 Responses to Al Bukhari bil Dajaj

  • This was so good, it challenges Kebsah & Saloona for my family’s fave!!! We LOVED this! Yum, I can’t wait to have this again! I used whole chickens cut in 4. Also, I shredded the carrots instead of chopping them. It is so awesome b/c my husband’s niece is living with us from Saudi and she said her Baba always orders Bukhari when he goes out to eat in Saudi. I had never heard of it so it was so thrilling to make something new and DELICIOUS!!! THANKS SO MUCH!!!

    • I am so glad you like it I agree its one of my favorites as well and I think I prefer it over kabsa.

  • This looks wonderful. Just a quick question, 4 tbsp. tomato paste, as in the thick concentrated paste that comes in a can/jar/tube?

  • The recipe looks great, I am planning to cook it this weekend. I lived in Saudi for 23 years, and this was a dish I frequently enjoyed. I observed however, that in some places, after sauteing the onion and adding chicken peices, after briefly cooking, the rest of the ingredient would be added, along with water and rice. The chicken is not removed .The vessel would till be left on a very low flame with a wet cloth over the lid.The chicken while cooking with the rice, would give a nice flavour to the rice. Can I do it this way ? Pls recommend.

    • Different places to it a bit different. You can do it that way but it will take a lot of time and it does not change the flavor.

  • I’m looking for Bukhari rice recipe and yours looks wonderful. Thanks for the recipe :)

  • question. you have 1 cup of water and then 2 1/4cup of water listed. at what point are you adding each amount?

  • I’m cooking this for my family for iftar. The smell is heaven. Thanks for sharing. The salsa in the pictire as a side dish do u have the recipe. Thank you.

  • Thank u for this recipe!!! I’ve been searching for an original bukhari recipe and it stops here. My problem is, i live in indonesia, here we cant find shaiba leaves and dried limes (called in other recipes), any substitute for that?

    • Hi, Sophie! I am glad you found the recipe. You can just skip those two ingredients and it will turn out just fine.

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