I don't know where I tasted Kabsa for the first time, but the combination of spiced rice, tender meat, and sweetness from the shredded carrots and raisins was an instant favorite. After years of trying recipes and tinkering with flavor combinations, I finally recreated the taste I was looking for. It's a great dish for entertaining.
SAUDI ARABIAN KABSA
2 ½ pounds lamb stew meat (with bones preferred)
2 cups rice, soaked for 15 minutes and drained
5 tsp Spice Tree Organics Mecca Rice and Meat Spice
¼ cup oil, divided
1 large white onion, chopped
½ pound carrots, coarsely grated
3 tbsp tomato paste
Salt, to taste (we like 2.5 tsp)
Toss the meat with 2 teaspoons of the spice blend, half the salt, and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the meat to the pot and brown on all sides. When the meat is browned, add 3.5 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, add the remaining salt, and cover. Cook the meat for an hour and a half, or until it is cooked through and breaks apart easily with a fork. Drain the meat and reserve 3 cups of the meat broth. This will be used to cook the rice.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in your pot and add the onions. Cook them until they are golden. Add the shredded carrots and the remaining 2 teaspoons of spice. Mix well and cook for three minutes. Add the tomato paste and your 3 cups of broth to the carrots and onions. Mix well, and taste for salt. Add the rice to the pot along with your meat. Stir it well and make sure all the rice is submerged. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover, and simmer the rice for 15 minutes, until soft and fluffy.