Omani Chicken and Rice Porridge (Madrouba)

  • Serves

    serves 6 to 8

  • Cook

    3 hours


By Felicia Campbell

Published on October 27, 2015

Fragrant with spices and soft from overcooked rice, this Middle Eastern porridge is perfect comfort food.

Recipe adapted from The Food of Oman by Felicia Campbell.


  • 4 dried Persian limes
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 12 cup ghee
  • 3 medium red onions, finely chopped, plus 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 plum tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 14 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 14 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 34 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 12 tsp. ground ginger
  • 14 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 14 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 18 tsp. ground cloves
  • 18 tsp. cayenne
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 12 cup vegetable oil


Step 1

On a cutting board, halve each lime and using your fingers, remove the flesh from the inside, and discard the seeds and the spent rinds. Place the rice in a large sieve and rinse under running water until the water runs clear. Transfer the rice to a bowl, cover with water. Soak the rice for 30 minutes and then drain.

Step 2

In a large saucepan, heat 1⁄4 cup ghee over medium-high. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring, until caramelized, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved dried lime flesh along with the chicken, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, 1⁄8 teaspoon cardamom, the ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne, nutmeg, and 8 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Step 3

Stir the rice into the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered and stirring to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot, until the rice breaks down and is mushy, about 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours.

Step 4

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add half the sliced onions, and fry, stirring, until deep golden brown, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to paper towels to drain and repeat frying the remaining sliced onions.

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