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Halal Cart Chicken and Rice

One of the things I miss most about NYC is the halal cart chicken and rice so let’s make it at home and even better! You’ll want to smother the white sauce over everything!

To make this recipe, I took a look at how Halal Guys makes their secret white sauce. The ingredients on their packet indicate that it is just mayonnaise, black pepper, and some other spices. After trying this out, I felt like the sauce could be so much better. The addition of toum/garlic spread takes this sauce to the next level! You can always tweak this dish to include gyro or steak shawarma instead of chicken!

Halal Cart Bowls

One of the things I miss most about NYC is the halal cart chicken and rice so let’s make it at home and even better! You’ll want to smother the white sauce over everything!
4.96 from 22 votes
Course Main Course
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Yellow Rice

  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1 bay leaf

Chicken Shawarma

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs boneless & skinless
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons allspice
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • oil for frying chicken

White Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup toum/garlic spread
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • water to thin out 2-4 tablespoons

Toppings

  • iceberg lettuce shredded
  • tomatoes diced
  • pita bread sliced
  • sriracha or hot sauce of choice

Instructions
 

White Sauce

  • Whisk together mayo, toum, sour cream, black pepper, lemon juice, sugar, and water to desired consistency until smooth. Set aside.

Chicken Shawarma

  • To a large bowl, add the chicken thighs, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and spices. Mix to marinade evenly. For more flavor, you can score the chicken before marinading and let it sit overnight or for at least half an hour.
  • Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or pan over high heat. Add the chicken and cook on each side until a nice brown crust develops, about 4 minutes on each side. Then turn the heat to low and cover to cook for a few minutes more until cooked in the center.
  • Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Once cooled to touch, chop into small pieces.
  • Optional: Add the chopped chicken back to the pan and give it a quick fry for extra flavor.

Yellow Rice

  • Wash rice for 2 minutes with warm water or until the water runs clear. Another option is to let it soak in water for 30 minutes and then drain.
  • To a pot over medium heat, add the ghee or butter. Then, add the rice and toast it for about 3 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the chicken broth, turmeric, oregano, cumin, salt, and bay leaf. Mix together and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for about 11-12 minutes. Turn off the heat but leave covered for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, take off the lid, remove the bay leaf, and fluff with a fork.

Assembly

  • In a plate, add rice, chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, and pita bread. Drizzle tons of white sauce and some hot sauce on top.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Instructions

1
For the chicken: Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, toum, and spices in a bowl. Add the chicken and mix to coat evenly. For more flavor, you can score the chicken before marinading. You can also let it sit overnight or cook it after letting it sit for half an hour. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or pan over high heat. Add the chicken and cook on each side until a nice brown crust develops, about 4 minutes on each side. Then turn the heat to low and cover to cook for a few minutes more until cooked in the center. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Once cooled to touch, chop into small pieces.
2
For the rice: Wash rice for 1 minute. Melt the butter on saute mode in an Instant Pot. Add the rice and turmeric and mix all together. Saute for about 3-4 minutes until the rice is toasted. Add the chicken broth and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Allow the steam to naturally release by turning the knob to vent. Let it rest for 10 minutes before taking off the lid. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
3
To assemble: In a plate, add rice, chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, and pita bread. Drizzle tons of white sauce and some hot sauce on top. You can also add some of the juices from frying the meat for more flavor.
    • T
    • January 8, 2021
    Reply

    Can the chicken be cooked on a bbq? or do you reccomend indoor bake or fry instead?

    • Natalia
    • February 17, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    This is SO fricken delicious. The chicken has so much flavor.. I honestly felt like I bought it from somewhere.

      • Nadz
      • February 27, 2021
      Reply

      5 stars
      Lovely recipe. Cooked tonight for my family. It was a great success. Went down a treat. They all loved it. Definitely making it again.

    • Jenn
    • February 18, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    Made this last night and the whole family loved it. I made it as is, no changes. Delicious!

    • Tiff
    • February 19, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    Sooo GOOOD, the rice, chicken, sauce, everything!! Definitely making this again very soon.

    • Kevin
    • February 19, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    I made the chicken and rice for lunch today and it was absolutely amazing. I didn’t have time to make the white sauce but I’ll do it next time. It was supposed to have been for dinner last night so the chicken was a bit overmarinated but still great. I’ll shoot for 12-18 hours next time. I grilled the chicken instead of pan frying it and it worked beautifully. Also, I toasted whole allspice, coriander and cumin and ground them for the marinade. I’ll definitely make this again. Thanks!

    • Tayyaba Saeed
    • February 20, 2021
    Reply

    I just made it! It was super delicious???

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • March 7, 2021
      Reply

      YAYY!!

    • Farhana
    • February 22, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    I cant wait to make this but what hot sauce do you use?

      • Nadz
      • February 27, 2021
      Reply

      5 stars
      Lovely recipe. Cooked tonight for my family. It was a great success. Went down a treat. They all loved it. Definitely making it again.

        • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
        • March 7, 2021
        Reply

        Ahh so happy it was a success for you!! thank youuu

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • March 7, 2021
      Reply

      I just use Sriracha because it’s my favorite and not too spicy for me!

    • Molly
    • February 22, 2021
    Reply

    Making this now and it smells amazing. How long does the white sauce keep?

    • Amy
    • February 23, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    One of the nicest dishes I have ever made !!

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • March 7, 2021
      Reply

      AHH thank you AMY!! that’s the biggest compliment. So happy you loved it!

    • Carolyne
    • February 23, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    This was incredible! Made minor adjustments to make it a bit healthier but overall stuck to the recipe and it was really amazing. Thank you for sharing!

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • March 7, 2021
      Reply

      Thank you for trying it out and sharing! so happy you enjoyed

    • Wynnie
    • February 24, 2021
    Reply

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. For the white sauce, it says if I don’t have toum, I can use garlic spread, is that garlic butter?

    Thanks!

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • March 7, 2021
      Reply

      If you can’t find or make toum, I’d add finely minced garlic/garlic paste to taste instead along with more lemon juice!

    • Michelle
    • February 25, 2021
    Reply

    I’m allergic to allspice (well, technically cinnamon & nutmeg) . I know it won’t have the exact same flavor profile, but if I leave that out is it still going to be as delicious as I hope it would be?

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • March 7, 2021
      Reply

      Hey Michelle! Allspice is actually a type of spice, not a spice blend, so there is no cinnamon or nutmeg in it. This article might help to explain better: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-allspice-how-to-cook-with-allspice-and-homemade-allspice-substitute-recipe#quiz-0

    • Tara
    • February 26, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe! The chicken was incredible. I’ll now be working though all of your recipes so thank you in advance for doing my meal planning

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • March 7, 2021
      Reply

      Noo thank youu for the love and support! so happy you loved the recipe Tara

    • Sadaf
    • February 26, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    This was delicious!! My family loved it! 100% will make it again.

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • March 7, 2021
      Reply

      YAYY big win when the whole family loves it

    • Bianca Rodriguez
    • March 2, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    This recipe was so delicious! Everything recipe you put out is delicious! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Marylien
    • March 3, 2021
    Reply

    4 stars
    My family and I loved it and can’t wait to have it again. Thank you for this great recipe.

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • March 7, 2021
      Reply

      Thank you for trying it out! YAY

    • Amani Nehme
    • March 5, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    Made this today for iftar! It was the bomb!! Hubby and I absolutely loved this and adding it to the Ramadan menu! I followed the recipe to the T, but I used chicken breast instead of thigh. Also I would use just a little bit less seasoning for the chicken. It was too much for us but after mixing it in to the bowl it evened out! The rice and white sauce were A1! Loved it! I ate this 3 hours ago and craving the left overs right about now! Thanks for this delicious recipe

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • March 7, 2021
      Reply

      AHH thank you Amani! So happy you both loved it. Appreciate all the feedback so much! Leftovers always taste better haha

    • Thomas
    • March 5, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    Delicious

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • March 7, 2021
      Reply

      Thank you Thomas! Happy you enjoyed it

    • Daniella
    • March 15, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    All I can say is that this recipe is SO GOOD!!! I seen her Instagram post and I came straight here to see what ingredients I needed, went out and bought them and made it for my family that night. They loved it. Gave some to my boyfriend to take home and his fam loved it so much I’m going over to make it for them tomorrow night LOL so happy I found this recipe!

    • Eva
    • April 7, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    Amazing, I use the marinade on both chicken and shrimp tastes so good. Thank you so much for this recipe ?

    • DaniSalem
    • April 8, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    Made this last night, followed the recipe to a T. I have to say, I was shocked by how everything tasted exactly like halal cart. There are recipes out there for all types of copycat recipes, and they never taste like the one you get from the restaurant. Wallah, this one was not like the others! Do not skip out on making the white sauce, it really ties everything together and making the Toum was super easy. I will definitely be making this for my family in the future! Thanks for the flawless recipe, I look forward to trying many more of them!

    • Sarah Yee
    • April 13, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    One of my favorite recipes to date! So easy and SOO flavorful. Didn’t change a thing it is perfect the way it is 🙂 will definitely be making again!

    • Amy
    • April 14, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    Since a friend shared this recipe with me, I’ve made it once a week. It is so delicious and a huge hit when I have company. I’m so glad I know about your blog-best cooking site on the web!

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • May 4, 2021
      Reply

      Hi Amy! Thank you for the lovely comment and I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe. Cant wait to share more recipes with you

    • Nakato
    • May 16, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    I saw your tiktok on this and made it yesterday for my family and we were obsessed!! I personally used a tad more oil then I should have when frying lol but that was an obvi me problem and when they are all combined it truly taste like you brought it off a halal cart! Do you think we could grill the chicken? Also, can’t wait to try many more of your recipes 🙂

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • May 19, 2021
      Reply

      So happy it was a huge success!! Yess you can definitely grill the chicken or even cook it in the oven. I’ve done it in the oven and it’s amazing too

    • kathleen
    • September 2, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    i have tried this and several more of your recipes and i have not had the desire to go back to the take out places they are so much better when made at home thank you for sharing your content with us.

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • September 8, 2021
      Reply

      So excited to hear this Kathleen! Homemade food always taste better

    • Sumaiyah
    • September 6, 2021
    Reply

    Salaam!

    I was wondering if water can be used instead of chicken broth in the rice?

    Thanks!

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • September 17, 2021
      Reply

      Yes definitely! You just need to adjust the spices so the flavor that comes from the chicken broth is not missing, especially tweaking the salt. I would add a little more.

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