A classic delicacy perfect for family dinners, Saloona is a classic Arabic Stew that can be prepared with anything available. Generally, the dish is prepared with beef, fish, or lamb depending on the availability. One can use seasonal vegetables to prepare it and flavor it with ginger and garlic.
Visitors coming to Qatar can find Saloona in any traditional restaurant. In fact, just about every Souq in Qatar has a traditional restaurant somewhere or the other. Saloona can be eaten with bread soaked in the broth. Interestingly, there are restaurants in Qatar that give Saloona their own contemporary twist.
1kg chicken (cut into thighs, breasts and legs)
courgette, cauliflower, carrots and potatoes, chopped into small pieces
4 diced onions
2 -3 garlic cloves, crushed and ground
dried coriander, chopped
3 chopped tomatoes
1⁄4 cup tomato puree
3 chicken stock cubes
6 cups water
Fill a cooking pot around half way with water (approximately 6 cups) and leave to boil.
Add the chicken to the water followed by pinches of salt, black pepper, and turmeric and leave to cook for around half an hour.
In another pan, put in 3 tablespoons of ghee and leave to melt. Follow this by adding two of the four diced onions, crushed garlic, chopped tomatoes, chopped vegetables and tomato puree and stir. Leave to cook for around fifteen minutes.
Once the fifteen minutes are up, add the mixture in the pan to the chicken broth in the pot and follow this by adding two chicken stock cubes. Leave to cook on a low flame for ten minutes.
Then add the coriander to the mixture and allow to cook on a low flame for another ten minutes.
Now you have finished making the chicken saloona. The whole process should take 45 to 50 minutes.
To make the rice, first put your desired amount of rice into a cooking pot and fill the pot with water so that the water just about covers the rice. (Do not use too much rice because it will expand in the water.) Leave the rice to soak for half an hour.
Drain the rice and re-put it into the cooking pot with water so that again it just covers the rice, and leave to cook until the water boils.
In another pan, add two to three tablespoons of ghee and allow to melt. Add your two remaining diced onions along with a pinch of salt and stir until the onions are a golden color.
Transfer the onions to the rice in the pot. Add the remaining chicken stock cube and stir into the rice. Leave the rice to cook on a low flame for another ten minutes. By then the water should have evaporated and the rice be ready.
If you’ve never tried it please make sure to ask for it when you travel to Qatar
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