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Friday, July 1, 2016

Riiz Bi Sh'arieh ( A Lebanese Rice Delight )

While breads are the Middle eastern staple, they do possess quite a variety of rice dishes in their repertoire. I have already blogged about the Moudardara which is a kind of Lebanese khichidi. What strikes me about these rice varieties is the fact that they are so frugal with hardly a handful of ingredients and yet turn out to be amazingly flavorsome. It is the perfect accompaniment with their rich meat and vegetable gravies.

As I focus my attention on the Lebanese platter, I realize that there is lot that is yet to be explored. While the world drools over sinful desserts like Baklava, Basbousa and Kunafeh, the everyday dishes from the region are quite healthy. There is a heavy dependence on  garlic, olive oil and a handful of aromatic seasoning to prepare these dishes which can definitely be termed heart-healthy.

Today's recipe is a simple 'Riiz Bi Sh'arieh' which is a mix of long grained rice and fine noodles cooked together with only butter/olive oil used for the seasoning. While it is very easy to prepare, we need to note that the noodles need to be roasted to just that right shade of brown without ever burning it ( personally I don't mind leaving it a golden brown rather than taking a with risk burning it ). It can be garnished with handful of pine nuts and a dash of pepper to add a festive touch but I am definitely sticking to the plain version.

Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time - 15 mins ( 30 mins standby )

Ingredients -
  • 1 cup long grained Basmati
  • 1/2 cup thin vermicelli ( seviyan )
  • 3 tsp olive oil ( You can use butter but olive oil is healthier )
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups water

Preparation - Wash the rice and soak it in water for half an hour. Drain and keep aside.

Cooking - Heat the olive oil in a deep pan. Once it is fragrant, add the vermicelli and roast on a low flame till it turns a rich brown.

Add the rice along with 2 cups water and salt.

Cook covered for 12-15 mins ( or the time specified on the rice packet ).

Remove from flame and let it stand covered for 10 mins. Use a fork to fluff it up.

Serve with a meat or vegetable gravy or even with a lentil curry of your choice.


















Or even with some fried prawns.


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