Home made arabic chicken, jewelled rice and khobz

Home made arabic chicken, jewelled rice and khobz

This was Sunday lunch today. I had already done a roast yesterday as a different offspring turned up, we have six between us, most have other halves and I am prepared to cook a meal for anything between one and 20 people. I love it. Luckily I am one of six children and often used to do the cooking at home so dont get terribly fazed by numbers, I always do too much as I can always freeze leftovers or make Tony’s lunches with the remains. The arabic theme is something I love to come back to, I was born in Aden in the sixties and spent many years there. I would love to go back but now isnt a great time really.

For the rice I dry fried a selection of spices, cant remember which as I just grabbed what was around but they included cumin, cardamom and fennel plus onion, celery and garlic. I then added some olive oil and a spoonful of butter to soften the veg. Finally I added the rice and chicken stock. My dad taught me to rinse rice 7 times so that is what I do.

The chicken thighs were organic and from the butchers. I chucked them in a bag of seasoned flour (seasoned with garam masala etc) then shallow fried.

Not in the photo are the stir fried veg, quite garlicky and I chucked in some home made chicken stock at the end for a bit of sauce.

The khobz were brilliant, they worked. I have been trying for ages to find another way of making khobz (arabic bread) since I was shown how to make them by my ayah, Um, when I was little. Previously I would roll out pastry, brush it with oil, roll out and repeat several times. Then I roll out the pastry and roll it into a sausage. The sausage then gets ‘snailed’ ie rolled into a spiral and rolled out again. No yeast is involved and it is a bit like a paratha with lots of layers, yum. This method is so time consuming I was trying to come up with an easy option and this worked. Puff pastry, drizzled with olive oil and crispy shallots, dry fried to get a lot of colour. Worked well.

I also made home made watermelon shake which was yum. I have tried several times since coming back from Thailand and this one was the best yet. It was just a squashed watermelon, crushed ice and some watermelon Pasteque from Monin (available on Amazon). This is a watermelon syrup which adds a bit more watermelonness.

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