The 5 white triangles symbolise the 5 pillars of Islam.
DishesFalafel, Chicken Machboos, Flatbreads
Time Falafel = 1 hour,
Effort Falafel = 5/10
Rough cost £10
Capital Manama
Population 1, 569, 446 (149th largest)
Land mass 780 km2 (172nd largest)
Languages Arabic, English


Bahrain is a sovereign island state, comprised of 33 natural islands and 51 artificial islands. It is located between the Qatar peninsula and the coast of Saudi Arabia. It has a classic Arabic cuisine full of flavour.

Mwara: The list of ingredients for the Machboos looks daunting but do not be put off. Nothing about this recipe is really that complicated and it is basically just a biryani. Also, if you don’t have all the spice ingredients, just make it anyway.

Bridget: These falafel were so easy to make and can be done in a massive batch. We are still eating our way through the batch. Yum! We served the falafel in some easy flatbreads, with tahini dressing, chilli sauce and chopped veg.


Chicken Machboos


Baharat Spice Mix

  • 1tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/4 tsp green cardamom seeds
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


  1. Place everything except paprika and nutmeg into small frying pan.
  2. Dry roast over medium-high heat, stirring regularly to prevent burning, for 3-4 minutes or until very fragrant.
  3. Add the mix into a pestle + mortar and grind to a fine powder. Add paprika and nutmeg and store in an air-tight jar. (will have some mix left over – yay!).

Chicken Machboos

  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3 tbsp fat/oil
  • 1 tbsp baharat spice mix
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 3 lbs chicken (we used boneless, skinned thighs)
  • 1 fresh chilli, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped / 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2-3 dried limes, with wholes punched in (only if you can get ’em)
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 1/2 cups of stock (chicken or veg)
  • 2 cups of basmati rice, soaked for 15 minutes, rinsed and drained
  • optional serving = chopped coriander + parsely


  1. Everything is cooked in one pan, so make sure you start with a verge big, heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Heat the oil over a medium-high heat and fry the chicken pieces in batches until browned. Put to the side.
  3. Use this same pan to brown the onions. Add ginger, garlic, green chilli, Baharat, turmeric and stir to mix.
  4. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, with tomatoes, dried limes, cardamom, cinnamon and salt.
  5. Add the stock and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cover to simmer for 30 – 1 hour, depending on the cut of chicken (bones will take longer).
  6. Add the rice and stir to combine. Allow the mix to simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  7. Serve with fresh herbs!!!


These were so easy to make and utterly delicious. We served them with a tahini + lemon dressing, flatbreads, chopped salad vegetables and plenty of chilli sauce (*see photos)! Incredible.


  • 2 cups of dried chickpeas
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 gloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup coriander
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp water

Sauce (for serving)

  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp water (or until good drizzling consistency)
  • whatever spices you so desire


  1. Soak the chickpeas in a large bowl of water overnight.
  2. Drain the chickpeas and blitz them in a food processor with the onion, coriander and garlic. Blend the mix until it is finely chopped and comes together into a ball in your hand when you squeeze it.
  3. Put the mixture into a large bowl and add the spices, flour, baking powder and water. Mix it with your hands until it is smooth and combined. Put in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Take the falafel mix and use an ice-cream to scoop a bit of mix. Make sure the scoop is a bet moist, so use some water.
  5. Form the scoop into a ball and place on an oiled baking tray. Repeat for the rest of the mixture.
  6. Bake falafel for 30 minutes in the pre-heated oven. The falafel balls should be a bit brown when finished.
  7. Enjoy with the accoutrements!


We literally just made bread dough, portioned off about a roll

شكرا (shukran) and see you in Bangladesh! M + B

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