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Qatari Majboos/Matchboos Recipe

A traditional Qatari recipe for Matchboos/Majboos.
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Recipe by


3 hours


Serves 4

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Main Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Chicken
  • 250g Basmati Rice
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic, grated
  • 2 green chillies, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4tbsp Qatari Bazaar Spice Mix (see below)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 half tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • large pinch of saffron strands
  • 1 large lemon, juice

Qatari Bazaar Spice Mix

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds


  • Step 1 : Wash Rice

    Wash your rice in a bowl. Rinse the rice, then add in more water and soak for 1 hour. This is to remove excess starch and create fluffy grains when cooked. While the rice is soaking you can prepare the rest of the ingredients.

  • Step 2 : Prepare Ingredients

    Chop your onions and tomatoes. Combine in a bowl with the fresh ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and chillies. Add a generous pinch of salt and a dash of lemon juice and mix through.

  • Step 3 : Create Qatari Bazaar

    Mix together the ingredients listed above for the Qatari Bazaar.

  • Step 4 : Prepare Chicken

    If you have a pot large enough to cover the whole chicken you will not need to do any extra preparation.

    However, you may need to cut the chicken into quarters in order to do the first stage of the chicken cooking process. You may also wish to use a mix of chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks for extra convenience.

  • Step 5 : Start Cooking

    In a large pot, (preferably a large soup pot) add the oil and bring to a medium heat. Add the Qatari Bazaar spice mix and your onion/chillies/tomatoes/ginger/garlic mix. Stir thoroughly until combined. Cook for several minutes until the aromas are released.

  • Step 6 : Add Chicken

    Spread the mixture across the pan, then slowly brown the chicken on all sides until the meat is coated red and turns slightly golden.

    Add 500 ml of water to the large pot, add a lid, reduce the heat, and simmer for 40 minutes. If you are not using a whole chicken reduce the time to twenty minutes. Preheat oven to 190C/180 Fan/ Gas Mark 4.

  • Step 7 : Finish the Chicken

    After the chicken is nearly cooked, remove it from the pot, place it in a roasting tray and cook in the preheated oven for a further ten to fifteen minutes.

  • Step 8 : Prepare the Rice

    While the chicken is in the oven, drain and rinse your rice again. Then gently add it to the large pot on a low heat and bring to a boil gently. Cook until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Stir every five minutes.

  • Step 9 : Serve

    When both the rice and chicken have finished cooking, transfer both to a large dish and serve with finely chopped parsley on top.