Bahrain Flag

Unusual Fact: Bahrain ethnic groups: Bahraini 46%, non-Bahraini 54%

Now into the second B country, which was Bahrain. I got this recipe of a family friend Kylie. She used to be an international air hostess, she used to fly in and out of Bahrain. On the flights from Bahrain, they fed them this dish. Kylie loved it so much that she asked the grounds crew to give her the recipe. This is it. It is called Chicken Makanwalla. We didn’t have any whole cumin seeds so I used ground. Also we didn’t have any onion. I started to marinate the chicken in the morning then cooked it that afternoon. It was very yum, delicious but not that exciting. That was the only thing that let it down. It tasted a bit like butter chicken, which is good because we all love a good butter chicken. The rice was very flavoursome. If I was going to make it (the rice) again I would add more water to the stock and a bit less fish sauce.

The marinating chicken
The marinating chicken
The marinating herbs and spices
The marinating herbs and spices

Mum: 8

Dad: 8.25

Angus: 9

Me: 8


Serves 6

900g Chicken Breast

100g thinly sliced onion

20g ground or fresh ginger

20g chopped garlic

30gm desiccated coconut

60g ghee or butter

100g tomato concasse or tomato puree

15g mustards seeds

15g cumin seeds

15 – 30g cream


Marinade the chicken with the onion, ginger, garlic, coconut, mustard seeds and cumin seeds over night in the refrigerator.

Saute in the butter or ghee without colouring the chicken, add the tomato concasse or paste and moisten with a little water. Simmer gently for 10mins.

Finish with cream. Do not boil after cream has been added.

Pugency of flavour may be increased by adding more ginger to taste. Serve with saffron rice.

Saffron Rice

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: SERVES 4 as a Side Dish


  • SERVES 4
  • 2 cups white Thai jasmine-scented rice, OR substitute white basmati rice (Note: brown rice is not successful with this recipe)
  • 3 1/2 cups good-tasting chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1.5 to 2 Tbsp. fish sauce, OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron threads
  • optional: 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili (from the spice aisle)
  • squeeze of lemon or lime juice


  1. Pour stock into a medium-size pot (you will also need a tight-fitting lid). Place pot on the stove over high heat.
  2. While stock is coming to a boil, add the turmeric, saffron, chili, and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Stir well.
  3. Add the rice, plus 1.5 Tbsp. fish sauce (or 1/4 tsp. salt) and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low (just above minimum) and cover tightly with a lid. Cook 12-15 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Tip: Insert a fork or knife straight down into the pot and push the rice aside. If you see liquid, it still needs more time to cook.
  4. When most of the liquid is gone, turn off the heat and place lid on tight. Allow the pot is remain on the burner another 5-10 minutes, or until you’re ready to eat. The residual heat inside the pot will finish steaming the rice. The rice will stay warm in this way for 1 hour or more (great if you’re having guests!).
  5. Before serving, remove the lid and fluff rice with chopsticks or a fork (some of the chili may have risen to the surface – just stir it back into the rice). Taste-test for salt, adding 1/2 Tbsp. more fish sauce or a little more salt if needed (how much will depend on the saltiness of your stock). If too salty, add another squeeze of lemon juice.
The final outcome
The final outcome

2 thoughts on “Bahrain

Have a thought?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s