This is a delicious recipe. This dish gets its name from the very large wooden spoon used to beat the mixture until it resembles very thick oatmeal. I don’t have a “madhrooba” spoon so I use my hand mixer (though not traditional) which gives the same results (in my opinion). It is popular during Ramadan for Iftar and Suhoor. This is absolutely even more delicious the next day. It is a little time consuming to make but the results are worth it.

Madhrooba (maTH-roo-ba)

1 chicken (1 kg) thoroughly washed inside and out

1 cup of onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, grated
3 cups of tomato, finely chopped or shredded
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green chili, chopped (optional)
1 bunch of fresh coriander (kuzbara) finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste

4 Maggi cubes
1 teaspoon black dried lime powder
1 teaspoon cardamon powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon bezar (mixed gulf spices) or

1 tsp curry powder + 1 tsp cumin powder + 1 tsp tumeric powder + 1 tsp coriander powder

3 cups of Jereesh (broken wheat, not pearl barley
1 cup yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
melted butter, ghee (samen)

In a large pot, boil the chicken until done. Remove the chicken and let it cool. Save the stock. Then skin and debone. Cut the chicken into small pieces or shred it.

In a very, very large pot, add 1/4 cup of oil and saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic, tomatoes, bell pepper, and chili. Cook until the tomatoes are mushy. Add the cut up chicken and cook stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. Add the spices and tomato paste.

Add the Jereesh to the pot along with 3 litres of water. Bring it to a boil. You will need to stir this occasionally because it will eventually start sticking to the bottom of the pot.

When the Jereesh softens and most of the water is gone you will need to reduce the flame to very low. It is best to put a cast iron sheet (like the kind to make raqoq with…looks like a pizza pan but is about 1/4 inch thick, 15 inches wide and made of cast iron) underneath the pot so the bottom will not burn.

Cook for about 2 hours. Check often and add hot water if needed.

At this point, adjust the seasoning to your tastes. Add yogurt and mix well.

Now remove the madhrooba from the heat. You will now be using the electric mixer to mix until it is a very thick oatmeal-like consistency. You have to be very careful because it will of course be very hot. Put the mixer into the madhrooba before turning it on or else you will have madhrooba flying all over your kitchen and you will get burned!! Just move that mixer all over the pot making sure that the chicken blends in really well with the Jareesh.

Now your done!

To serve, place madhrooba either in a deep oval serving dish or for individual serving into bowl-plates. Drizzle with the melted butter or ghee.

Enjoy! And don’t forget to share with your neighbors during Ramadan!


2 responses to “Madhrooba

  1. Heileen zein

    Excellent dish….
    What is a nice side dish that can go with it!???

  2. Hi Heileen! Well, this is sort of served like in a mezze-style with other little munchies…such as samboosas, pakoras…or eaten by itself and a platter of fresh local herbs like arugula (jarjeel), green onions, radishes, another local herb named roo-wayd. I hope that this helps! Thank you for taking the time out to comment! 🙂

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