Quaker Soup


Quaker soup is the most popular Ramadan soup in Saudi during Ramadan and you will find that every home has it on the table for iftar nightly as well as any restaurants that you may eat at. This same soup is made with both chicken and lamb so you can use whatever you may like. This soup is also never served without samboosas they are a  traditional mix to have during Ramadan in the Kingdom.

My mother in law says to use the bones for both the meat and chicken because it gives it much more flavor. Also if it if you feel it has too much water add more oats and if to thick more water. A lot of people squeeze lemon over the soup however she does not. She also uses a spice bag to add the spices into the soup and says you can add loomi (2) as well.

1 whole chicken
8 cups + 1/2 cup water
7 tablespoons oats
1 onion, chopped
3 medium tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 (1 inch) kholegan
4 cardamoms
2 shaiba leaves
2 chicken bouillon cubes (we use Maggi)
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a food processor add onion, tomatoes and garlic, pulse until smooth. In a 4-quart saucepan add 8 cups water, cinnamon, cardamom, kholegan, shaiba and salt. Bring to a full boil then add chicken to pot then cover and reduce to low.  Cook for 30-45 minutes until chicken is no longer pink.

2. When chicken has cooked strain broth and set aside. Shred the chicken into small pieces and add to the stock again
3.  In a cup add oats and remaining water, tomato paste, salt and pepper and add to stock, bring to a full boil and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more water if the soup is becoming too thick. Add butter and serve with fresh lemon wedges.

Chicken with Tomato and Cilantro



The traditional name for this North Indian dish is Murgh ka Bharta. You will want to use the ripest tomatoes available for taste and color. When dishes have a great mix of fresh vegetables and spices you really do not need a lot of ingredients. I always serve this with plain white rice and a cucumber salad.

3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 onion, sliced
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
1 green chili, stem removed and split lengthwise
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
5 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
Fresh cilantro

1. In a saute pan on medium heat add oil. Fry the onion until soft and then add ginger-garlic paste and green chili.

2. Add the tomatoes and any juices and cook, stirring frequently until soft. Add turmeric and salt. Add the shredded chicken, mix and cook until warm. Place on a serving platter and garnish with cilantro.

Yields: 3 servings

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

Chicken Kofta Gulf Style


Your food processor is going to be your best friend when making this recipe because you literally use it to grind everything. The worst possible thing you can do is not use one when making kofta. No one wants big bits of stuff sticking out of one after all. I have previously posted a chicken kofta recipe here on the blog but this recipe is quite different. This is the recipe you will find being made throughout the Gulf countries. When I make these I always serve them with white rice, samboosas and salad.

4 skinless and boneless chicken breast, boiled
1 large potato (or 4 small ones), boiled
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup oats
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 small white onion
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil

1. In the food processor grind the chicken breast then add into a large mixing bowl. Add the onion, parsley and garlic, pulse in the processor then add into the bowl with the chicken. Next, process the potatoes (skin and all) and add to the chicken mixture.

2. In a large saute pan on medium heat add olive oil.

3. In the bowl add cheese, mayonnaise, oats, salt, pepper and eggs. Mix well. Roll the mixture into golf sized balls and place into the pan (I cooked 2 batches). Cover pan and allow to cook for about 3 minutes until bottom is golden then with tongs carefully flip and allow over side to cook. Place koftas on a paper towel lined dish and serve.

Yields: 25