Al Machboos, a traditional Arabian dish, features fragrant rice cooked with tender meat, tomatoes, and a medley of spices. Its origins trace back centuries, evolving through Arabian culinary traditions to become a beloved staple across the region. This flavorful recipe reflects the rich cultural heritage of Arabian cuisine, offering a delightful blend of flavors and textures.


- 2 cups Basmati rice

- 500g meat (chicken, lamb, or beef), cubed

- 2 tomatoes, diced

- 1 onion, finely chopped

- 3 cloves garlic, minced

- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

- 1 tablespoon Arabic spice mix (baharat)

- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

- Salt, to taste

- 4 cups water


1. Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes, then drain.

2. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and sauté until golden brown.

3. Add the meat cubes to the pot and cook until browned on all sides.

4. Stir in the diced tomatoes, Arabic spice mix, turmeric powder, and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes.

5. Add the drained rice to the pot and stir until well combined with the meat and spices.

6. Pour in the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.

7. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5-10 minutes before fluffing the rice with a fork.

8. Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs if desired. Enjoy your delicious Al Machboos!

Nutrition Value:

1. Basmati Rice (2 cups):

  - Calories: Approximately 430 kcal

  - Carbohydrates: Around 90 grams

  - Protein: Roughly 9 grams

  - Fat: Minimal, less than 1 gram

  - Sodium: Negligible

  - Cholesterol: None

  - Vitamins: Contains B vitamins, particularly niacin and thiamine

  - Minerals: Provides small amounts of iron, magnesium, and zinc

  - Nutritional Benefit: Basmati rice is a good source of energy due to its high carbohydrate content. It also contains some essential vitamins and minerals, contributing to overall nutritional intake.

2. Meat (500g, chicken, lamb, or beef):

  - Nutritional values vary depending on the type of meat and cut.

  - Generally, for lean cuts:

   - Calories: Approximately 800-1000 kcal

   - Carbohydrates: Negligible

   - Protein: Around 100 grams

   - Fat: Around 40-60 grams

   - Sodium: Varies

   - Cholesterol: High, around 300-400 mg

   - Vitamins: Rich in B vitamins, especially B12 and niacin

   - Minerals: Contains iron, zinc, and phosphorus

   - Nutritional Benefit: Meat is an excellent source of high-quality protein, essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals necessary for muscle growth, repair, and overall health.

3. Tomatoes (2 tomatoes, diced):

  - Calories: Approximately 40 kcal

  - Carbohydrates: Around 9 grams

  - Protein: Approximately 2 grams

  - Fat: Negligible

  - Sodium: Minimal

  - Cholesterol: None

  - Vitamins: High in vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K

  - Minerals: Contains potassium and small amounts of calcium and magnesium

  - Nutritional Benefit: Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, supporting immune function, heart health, and vision.

4. Onion (1 onion, finely chopped):

  - Calories: Approximately 45 kcal

  - Carbohydrates: Around 11 grams

  - Protein: Approximately 1 gram

  - Fat: Negligible

  - Sodium: Minimal

  - Cholesterol: None

  - Vitamins: Contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folate

  - Minerals: Provides potassium and small amounts of calcium and iron

  - Nutritional Benefit: Onions are low in calories and rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, promoting heart health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

5. Garlic (3 cloves, minced):

  - Calories: Approximately 15 kcal

  - Carbohydrates: Around 3 grams

  - Protein: Less than 1 gram

  - Fat: Negligible

  - Sodium: Minimal

  - Cholesterol: None

  - Vitamins: Contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese

  - Minerals: Provides small amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and selenium

  - Nutritional Benefit: Garlic is known for its immune-boosting properties, cardiovascular benefits, and potential anti-cancer effects due to its sulfur compounds.

6. Vegetable Oil (2 tablespoons):

  - Calories: Approximately 240 kcal

  - Carbohydrates: Negligible

  - Protein: Negligible

  - Fat: Around 28 grams

  - Sodium: Minimal

  - Cholesterol: None

  - Vitamins: Contains vitamin E and small amounts of vitamin K

  - Minerals: Provides small amounts of phosphorus and selenium

  - Nutritional Benefit: Vegetable oil adds fat to the dish, enhancing flavor and texture. It also provides vitamin E, an antioxidant that supports skin health and immunity.

7. Arabic Spice Mix (1 tablespoon):

  - Nutritional values can vary based on ingredients, but typically:

   - Calories: Approximately 15 kcal

   - Carbohydrates: Around 3 grams

   - Protein: Less than 1 gram

   - Fat: Negligible

   - Sodium: Varies depending on salt content

   - Cholesterol: None

   - Vitamins: May contain traces of vitamins depending on ingredients

   - Minerals: May contain traces of minerals depending on ingredients

   - Nutritional Benefit: Spice mixes like baharat add flavor and aroma to the dish without significant caloric or macronutrient contributions.

8. Turmeric Powder (1 teaspoon):

  - Calories: Approximately 8 kcal

  - Carbohydrates: Around 2 grams

  - Protein: Less than 1 gram

  - Fat: Less than 1 gram

  - Sodium: Minimal

  - Cholesterol: None

  - Vitamins: Contains notable amounts of vitamin C and vitamin B6

  - Minerals: Rich in iron, manganese, and potassium

  - Nutritional Benefit: Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, potentially offering various health benefits, including improved digestion and reduced risk of chronic diseases.

9. Salt (to taste):

  - Sodium: Depends on the amount added, generally contributes to daily sodium intake

  - Nutritional Benefit: While necessary in moderation for electrolyte balance and flavor enhancement, excessive salt intake can increase blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. It's essential to monitor salt intake, especially for individuals with hypertension or cardiovascular conditions.

10. Water (4 cups):

  - No significant calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, sodium, or cholesterol.

  - Nutritional Benefit: Water is essential for hydration and aids in digestion, nutrient absorption, and various metabolic processes in the body. Drinking an adequate amount of water is crucial for overall health and well-being.

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