Fahad Inc. Dishes

    De-jaj ta-ha-tah ~ Rice with Chicken in the Bottom

    Serves 4-6

    This must be prepared in a non-stick pot, for once it is cooked, the process of transferring it to round rice platter can be tricky. Care must be taken to avoid breaking the crust which forms around the bottom of the rice pot.
    A very attractive dish to present, it is usually served with plain yoghurt, sliced limes and raw sliced onion. Considered to be a modern local dish, it can be also feature fish or meat instead of chicken.

    1 medium frech or frozen chicken
    2 medium sliced onions
    2 cloves garlic
    salt to taste
    2 teaspoons bezar (pepper)
    1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
    4 tablespoons tomato puree
    1 teaspoon turmeric
    3 tablespoons dried loomi (lemon)
    200gms dried chickpeas (or drain one can)
    1/2 cup corn oil
    4 cups rice
    1 teaspoon saffron

    If using dried chick peas, soak overnight then boil until soft. If using canned, drain throughly prior to using. Clean and wash rice then soak in fresh water for two hours. Soak saffron in 1/4 cup warm water.
    Clean chicke and cut into quarters, rub each with bezar, salt, cinnamon and turmeric, then leave for 15 minutes. Put some oil in a medium-sized non-stick frying pan and heat: add chicken and quickly brown on both sides. Remove and put aside. In remaining oil, brown onion, then add garlic and dried loomi. Fry for 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Add tomato puree and chickpeas, stir and leave aside.
    Half fill a medium-size pot with water, add salt to taste and boil. Add rice and boil rapidly for 8-10 minutes. Rice should be slightly undercooked. Turn off heat, drain rice in colender, then run cold water through to prevent sticking.
    Pour 5 tablespoons of oil into the rice pot, add the now drained rice and chicken pieces, packing tightly together. Pour tomato mixture over top, smooth down with spatula, then pour saffron in a circular motion over top. Cover top of pan tightly with a wet cloth then a lid, to absorb moisture from rice, and place on a very low heat for 20-25 minutes. Switch off heat and leave for 10 minutes to set.

    From the book "The Complete United Arab Emirates Cookbook"
    by Celia Ann Brock- Al Ansari
    Copyright © 1994 by Celia Ann Brock-Al Ansari

    Copyright © 1997 by Fahad Inc.
    Maintained by: Fahad Al Mahmood