Faqa Makbous

Faqa is a new discovery that I have made while living in Saudi Arabia. Faqa means truffle, desert truffle to be exact. The faqa is the best truffle that I have ever tasted, so light. Faqa’s come in black or white, white being the best and most expensive. February is faqa season here in Saudi so get them while you can. If you are not in an area where you can get desert truffles you can replace with regular mushrooms. Are you can even omit the faqa mixture all together and just have a lovely makbous.

1 cup basmati rice, washed and soaked
1 teaspoon saffron
2 tablespoons rose water
1 large chicken, cup into 8 pieces
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon oil
8 cardamoms
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
Pepper and salt, to taste
2 black lemons, cracked
1 can tomato paste

Faqa mixture:
6-8 faqa, cleaned, peeled and cubed
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a small cup, add saffron and rose water, set aside. In a large saucepan on medium heat, add oil, onion, cardamoms, bay leaves, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Allow onion to cook until golden. Add black lemons and tomato paste, mix well. Add chicken the add water to cover just the top of chicken. Raise heat to high, allow to come to a full boil then reduce heat to simmer, cook for 30-45 minutes, until chicken is done (save broth).

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add water and salt. Add faqa and allow mixture to come to a full boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 minutes, until faqa is tender. Drain water. Add oil, onion, cardamom, mixed spice and lemon juice to faqa, mix well. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, set aside.

3. In a stockpot add rice, then pour enough broth from the chicken to cover rice (make sure it is just on top of the rice), cover pot. Raise heat to high until rice comes to a full boil then reduce to low for 10 minutes. Add rose water/saffron mix on top of the rice; add chicken pieces, then faqa mixture. Place the lid back on the pot and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.

Yields: 4 servings

8 Responses to Faqa Makbous

  • Wow, sounds really delicious!!!

  • Huhuhu.. why do I have to browse your yummy blog when I am hungry??? Makes my tummy growling at the sight of your yummy Faqa Makbous!

  • Assalam Alaikum Noor,

    It turned out fabulous. My husband doesn’t like mushrooms, so I sneaked some cauliflower and squash. My toddlers didn’t even noticed it. Thanks for another great recipe!!!



  • Salam

    Pak Karamu visit Ya Salam cooking

  • Thanks you all, glad you enjoyed looking into the recipe, I love trying new things.

    Sonia what a great idea, I am so happy your family liked it. This is pretty much Kuwait’s popular dish like kabsa is here in Saudi, its so tasty and a lot alike.

  • Never heard of Faqa anytime before. You have a collection of lovely and very interesting recipes here.
    Have added you to my blogroll.

  • Very nice recipe.


    Zaitun Palestine

  • Thanks so much ladies.

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