A deluxe Emirati chicken stew with bread dough from Culinary Magic of the Emirates by Alexandra Von Hahn
Margooga by Salha Al Shamsi
Margooga by Salha Al Shamsi
November 23, 2018
Level Intermediate
Serves 6-8

RECIPE BY Salha Al Shamsi


For the bread

3 cups spinneysFOOD All-Purpose Flour
½ tsp spinneysFOOD Sea Salt
¾ - 1 cup lukewarm water

For the Margooga

1kg whole chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces
½ cup vegetable oil
2 onions, peeled and dice
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 oumi (dried lime), crushed
1 tbsp spinneysFOOD Sea Salt
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ginger, crushed
½ tsp saffron threads
1 tbsp garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp bzar (Emirati spice mix)
1 cup fresh coriander, chopped, to garnish


  • To make the bread

  • 1

    Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Slowly add lukewarm water and stir. Knead and mix with your fingers until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Roll gently on a floured surface. The dough should reach a thickness of about ¼ cm. Cover with a tea towel and leave the dough to dry. This process may take a few hours. Dough should be dry on the surface. Cut dried dough into 4cm x 4cm squares. The bread for margooga stays unbaked.

  • To make the Margooga

  • 1

    Rub the chicken with ½ tsp bzar and leave for 30 minutes in the refrigerator or until ready to cook. Fry the onions in oil until transparent. Add the rest of the bzar, garlic, ginger, chilli and cook until the spices become fragrant. Add the chicken and cook over a moderate heat until it begins to colour. Add the tomatoes, loumi, ½ cup of water and saffron and mix well over moderate heat. Cover the pan and cook until the spices become fragrant. Add the cubed/sliced vegetables, 6 cups of water and salt, stir well and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the water is reduced by half, and chicken and vegetables are cooked. Carefully drop soft bread squares into the hot chicken stew and stir slowly until thickened. Remove from heat and leave covered for 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander.