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Instant Pot Best Tasting Chicken Kabsa Recipe | Arabian Chicken & Rice

Chicken kabsa, a delicious one-pot meal cooked in the Instant Pot…

Kabsa is the national dish of Saudi Arabia, flavored rice topped with crispy chicken. This is a perfect dish for special occasions. I made chicken kabsa in the Instant Pot, turned out absolutely delicious.

Chicken & basmati rice were pressure cooked separately, and the pressure-cooked chicken was further air fried in the Instant Pot air fryer. The chicken has a nice crispy outside & moist inside.

Since basmati rice was pressure cooked in the flavorful chicken gravy, the rice tasted extremely aromatic & packed with flavors.

Scrumptious chicken kabsa made effortlessly.

Cooking Video

Instant Pot Best Tasting Chicken Kabsa Recipe | Arabian Chicken & Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Arabian
Serves: 5 People
For cooking chicken
  • Ghee- 3 tbsp
  • Whole cardamom- 5
  • Whole cloves- 3
  • Whole cinnamon stick- 3 inch slice
  • Dried bay leaves- 2
  • Dry lemon- 2
  • Onions, chopped- 2 (yellow onions)
  • Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  • Green pepper, chopped- 1 cup
  • Tomato puree- 1 cup
  • Tomato paste- 3 tbsp
  • Chicken legs or bone-in pieces- 8
  • Water- ½ cup
  • Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
  • Ground cumin- 1 tsp
  • Paprika- 1 tsp
  • Cardamom powder- ½ tsp
  • Cinnamon powder- ¼ tsp
  • Ground black pepper- 1 tsp
  • Salt- 1½ tsp
For making paste
  • Paprika- 2 tsp
  • Ground black pepper- ½ tsp
  • Olive oil- 1½ tbsp
For cooking rice
  • Basmati rice- 2½ cups
  • Chicken gravy- 2½ cups
  • Hot water- ½ cup
  • Salt- ½ tsp
For garnish
  • Roasted cashew nuts or almonds- ¼ cup
  • Cilantro or parsley- 2 tbsp
  1. For making tomato puree, add 2 chopped tomatoes to a blender jar & puree till smooth, keep it aside.
  2. Soak the basmati rice in 3½ cups water for 20 minutes.
  3. Bone-in chicken has to used for making this dish, I've taken 8 chicken legs.
  4. Turn on the Instant Pot.
  5. Select saute setting, at normal temperature.
  6. Let the stainless steel pot turn hot.
  7. Add ghee & add the whole aromatic spices- cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, dried bay leaves & dry lemon. Saute for 2 minutes.
  8. Add onions, ginger-garlic paste, season with 1½ tsp salt. Combine well & saute for 2 minutes.
  9. Add the tomato puree, cook for 2 minutes.
  10. Add tomato paste, mix well & cook for 2 minutes.
  11. Add the chicken (skinned or with skin), combine with the gravy.
  12. Add the spices: coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika, cardamom powder, cinnamon powder & ground pepper.
  13. Combine well, add ½ cup hot water.
  14. Ensure the pot hasn't turned brown, combine well.
  15. Close the pot with the lid.
  16. Cancel saute setting, select pressure cook setting. Set the time to 10 minutes at high pressure.
  17. After 10 minutes of pressure cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes & then do a quick pressure release.
  18. Open the lid.
  19. Perfectly pressure cooked chicken along with an amazing gravy.
  20. Next, let's air fry the pressure cooked chicken.
  21. I've used my Instant Pot duo crisp & air fryer, any kind of air fryer can be used.
  22. Or grill the chicken, or bake int the oven for 10 minutes at 400 F or 200 C.
  23. Place the stainless steel pot in the instant pot, place the air fryer basket & broil tray.
  24. Grease the broil tray with non-stick cooking spray.
  25. Arrange the chicken on the tray.
  26. In a bowl, combine paprika, ground pepper & olive oil, make into a paste.
  27. Spread the paste over the chicken.
  28. Close the pot with the lid.
  29. Select air fry, set time to 10 minutes, temperature 400 F or 200 C.
  30. After 10 minutes of air frying, transfer the air fried chicken to a plate & cover with aluminum foil will stay warm.
  31. The gravy that's left in the pot is very flavorful.
  32. Save 1 cup of the gravy in a bowl, keep it aside.
  33. Rinse the soaked basmati rice in water taken in a strainer.
  34. I've measured the gravy to be precise, 2½ cups gravy.
  35. Added additional ½ cup water.
  36. Add 2½ cups basmati rice.
  37. Add ½ tsp salt, combine well.
  38. Close the pot with the lid.
  39. Select pressure cook setting. Set the time to 6 minutes at high pressure.
  40. After 6 minutes of pressure cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes & then do a quick pressure release.
  41. Open the lid.
  42. Flavorful & aromatic basmati rice is ready.
  43. If the rice on the top is crispy, combine the rice well & keep it covered for 10 minutes, the rice will turn soft.
  44. Spread the rice on a platter, top with the air fried chicken.
  45. Garnish with roasted cashew nuts or almonds, raisins can also be added & chopped cilantro.
  46. While serving, pour some gravy over the chicken & enjoy.




Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...