Saleeg — a Saudi dish that won’t let you down

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Updated 02 October 2013

Saleeg — a Saudi dish that won’t let you down

Saleeg is a white-rice dish, cooked in broth. Some people say it resembles Italian risotto or Indonesian bubur but it is different as it is made with milk. Arabs would call saleeg a “face-whitening” dish, meaning it won’t let you down in front of your guests. Saleeg is easy to make and consists of simple ingredients. This way, even unexpected guests can take a seat at the dinner table, and most will find it delicious. It takes an hour to prepare even a large amount of this dish.
Saleeg is popular in the Hijaz region. It is tasty, rich in nutritional value, easily digestible and kids love it even when they don’t like milk. Saleeg can be made with chicken or meat and people love it in winter.
Serve it with duggus (a chili tomato sauce), pickled lemons or a green salad made of cucumber, parsley, tomato, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
To make chicken saleeg for four people, you need:
3 pods of cardamom
1 chicken
1/2 lemon
4 small mastic tear (optional)
1 tbsp ghee (samin) or butter
1 cup rice
1/2 liter milk
2 liter boiled water to make chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper

First, clean the rice then soak it in a bowl of fresh water.
Cut the chicken to quarters or eighths. Clean the pieces, rub them with salt and vinegar, then rinse with water.
To make a chicken broth, bring two liter of water to a boil in a pot. Add the chicken, cardamom pods and a teaspoon of white pepper. You can add two mastic tears to the broth.
Keep removing fat foam.
Wait until the chicken is cooked under a medium flame. Keep the pot semi-covered.
Put the chicken aside and spice it with lemon juice, half a teaspoon of salt and black pepper.
Brown the spiced chicken in a preheated oven (200 degrees Celsius) to give it a crispy touch
Strain the broth, removing the cardamom, and add the uncooked rice. Cook the rice as you normally would on a medium-low flame until the rice is done. Strain the rice, keeping the broth, as you may need to add a little to the rice and stir it occasionally.
Add milk to the rice and stir the saleeg until it blends on a low heat. Add salt to taste.
Heat ghee or butter in a frying pan until it melts (you can add mastic) then pour it on the saleeg before serving it straight from the stove while it is still hot.
Top the saleeg with roasted chicken or serve the chicken on the side.
To make meat saleeg is similar to making chicken saleeg. Prepare the broth with pieces of meat and cardamom, salt and pepper in boiled water. Some people add a peeled onion, or a clove of garlic. Strain the broth before using it to cook the rice. Proceed as with chicken saleeg.

Duggus sauce is an important sauce with Saudi meals, such as saleeg. It is served cold and adds a nice cool taste to the food. It is easy to make, using:
2 tomatoes
4 leaves of parsley or coriander
1 clove garlics
1/4 lemon
1 red hot pepper (or a chili pepper)

Cut the tomatoes, parsley, garlic and hot pepper into small pieces, mix together and then add a squeeze of lemon and salt.

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Expert advice for dealing with stressed-out skin

Updated 21 October 2020

Expert advice for dealing with stressed-out skin

DUBAI: If you felt like as soon as lockdown hit, your typically flawless complexion went haywire, you’re not alone. The effects of the current situation can affect more than just your mental health — it can also take a toll on your complexion. “Stress affects the skin in many ways,” said Dr. Costi, cosmetic dermatologist and FOREO brand partner, to Arab News. “Stress causes our body to produce more cortisol, the stress hormone, which can lead to several skin issues.” 

The increase of cortisol not only causes our body to produce more oil, which leads to breakouts, but it also increases inflammation. Costi explained, “Stress reduces our immune system causing inflammation to flare up. So if you already had a skin condition like psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis, it will get worse.” Furthermore, by causing inflammation in the dermis, stress directly affects the skin’s natural aging cycle, leading to premature wrinkle formation.

To deal with stress-related skin issues, the doctor suggests maintaining a healthy skin regimen by paring back our routines, thoroughly cleansing the dermis and exfoliating regularly. “Clean your skin diligently, followed by an adequate moisturizer for your skin type,” he said.

Costi also stressed (excuse the pun) the importance of regular exercise. “By staying active and sweating regularly, you are releasing toxins from your body and stimulating your blood circulation, which has the biggest effect not only on stress but also on your overall wellbeing,” he said. And don’t forget to incorporate a healthy diet into your daily life. “Drink plenty of water, limit your caffeine intake and eat a varied and seasonal diet of fruits and vegetables,” suggested the doctor. 

Here are more expert tips for dealing with stress-related skin concerns.


Acne and oily skin are the most common side effects of stress. “Breakouts are often the result of pollution and clogged pores, which have only one solution: A very good cleansing, toning and exfoliation treatment, morning and night,” expalined Costi, suggesting formulas with salicylic acid. “You can opt for a sonic brush, such as Foreo’s Luna 3, to blast away any dirt or makeup residue,” he added.


According to Costi, “dry skin can lose its glow and look wrinkled.” Those who have dry skin should look for products with AHA and retinol to soften fine lines and boost collagen. Just don’t forget to apply sunscreen when using these products as they can make the dermis more sensitive to the sun. 



Those who have irritated, sensitive and flushed skin need to be gentle with their dermis. The doctor suggests paring the skincare routine way back and sticking to natural and soothing products like niacinamide and squalene.  He also swears by the Foreo UFO 2 facial treatment, which offers a Cryo-Therapy option. “It’s heaven for irritated skin,” he proclaimed.


Should your skin need a little boost, El-Habr suggests reaching for a vitamin C-infused serum followed by a hyaluronic acid moisturizer. “Apply a hydrating mask at least twice a week,” he said.