Arabic rice, also known as Middle Eastern or Lebanese rice, is a staple dish in many households in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East. This simple yet flavorful recipe has been passed down through generations and is enjoyed by many for its fragrant aroma and delicious taste. In this article, I’ll be sharing my own version of this timeless classic dish that I’ve perfected over years of cooking.
Using only the best quality ingredients such as basmati rice, olive oil, and hot chicken broth, my Arabic rice recipe is sure to impress your taste buds. The addition of vermicelli pasta adds a unique texture to the dish and the pinch of salt adds just the right amount of seasoning.
Whether you are looking for a side dish to pair with chicken or mutton or a hearty main course, my Arabic rice recipe is versatile enough to complement any meat dish. This recipe can be made in a large pan or slow cooker, making it perfect for dinner parties or family gatherings.
So why not try something new and introduce your taste buds to the rich and distinctive flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine? With my step-by-step recipe guide, you’ll be able to create an authentic Arabic rice dish that’s sure to impress everyone at the table.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Do you crave a fragrant and comforting rice dish that will transport your taste buds to the Middle East with just one bite? Look no further than this Arabic Rice Recipe. This is not just any ordinary rice dish; it’s a hearty, filling, and flavorful side dish that can complement any main course.
There are numerous reasons why you’ll fall head-over-heels in love with this recipe. Firstly, it uses only the highest quality ingredients such as long-grain basmati rice, vermicelli pasta, extra virgin olive oil, and hot chicken broth to give it an authentic Middle Eastern flavor. The use of vermicelli adds a unique twist to the traditional rice pilaf recipe, effectively enhancing its taste and texture.
Moreover, this recipe is versatile enough to be tailored to your individual taste preferences. You can choose to add more or less garlic powder or spices for more complex flavors; whatever suits your palate!
Perhaps one of the best things about this recipe is that it can be paired with almost anything. It makes an excellent side dish for lamb meat, mutton or chicken dishes such as mandi, kabsa or plain yellow rice. Or you can simply serve it on its own as a satisfying meal on a busy weekday night.
So what’s stopping you from trying out this simple yet impressive Arabic Rice Recipe? It’s easy to follow step-by-step instructions make it approachable even for beginner cooks, AND it’s healthy too! So go ahead and give it a try- I promise you won’t regret it.
Let’s get started with the Arabic Rice Recipe! Here are the ingredients you will need:
For the rice:
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 1/4 cup vermicelli pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
- 4 cups hot water
- 2 cubes of hot chicken broth
- Pinch of salt
For the flavor:
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
Make sure to use high-quality ingredients like long-grain basmati rice and extra virgin olive oil for best results. Also, feel free to add any additional spices that you may prefer.
The Recipe How-To
Now that you have prepared all the necessary ingredients, it’s time to cook your Arabic Rice. Don’t worry, although it may look complicated, it’s actually quite simple. Follow these step-by-step instructions and you’ll get a delicious Arabic Rice that will amaze everyone at the dinner table!
Step 1: Soak the rice
In a bowl, soak 2 cups of basmati rice for 30-45 minutes. Then, drain completely.
Step 2: Brown the vermicelli pasta
In a large pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and add in one cup of vermicelli pasta broken into small pieces. Keep stirring until it’s golden brown.
Step 3: Add onion and garlic
Add one onion chopped into small pieces and cook until it becomes translucent. Then add four cloves of minced garlic and stir until fragrant.
Step 4: Add rice and water
Now, add two cups of long-grain basmati rice into the pan and stir with the onion and garlic mixture until coated well. Pour in three cups of hot water or hot chicken broth then add half a tablespoon of salt (or to taste).
Step 5: Cook the rice
When the rice starts boiling, lower the heat to a minimum, cover the pan tightly with a lid, then let cook for about 18-20 minutes (or until the water is absorbed). Don’t open the lid during this time! The trapped steam is what cooks the rice evenly.
Step 6: Fluff and serve
After around 20 mins, remove from heat and let stand for another few minutes. Remove the lid and fluff up the cooked rice gently with a fork. Serve warm as a side dish or as a main course with mutton or lamb meat dishes like kabsa arabian or mandi.
That’s it! You have your perfect Arabic Rice dish ready to go!
Substitutions and Variations
Now, there are several ways you can experiment with the Arabic Rice Recipe to suit your taste and dietary preferences. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:
– Rice: While basmati rice is the most commonly used rice for Arabic rice, you can use any long-grain rice as a substitute. For a healthier option, try brown rice, which will give your dish a hearty texture.
– Vermicelli Pasta: If you can’t find rice vermicelli, you can use any thin pasta like angel hair or even broken up spaghetti.
– Meat: This recipe is great with lamb meat, but if you prefer chicken or mutton, feel free to make the substitution. You can also make it vegetarian by adding vegetables in place of the meat, such as green beans or peas.
– Spiciness: If you like your dish on the spicier side, add more garlic powder and red pepper flakes. On the other hand, if you want something milder, stick to just a pinch of these spices.
– Oil: Instead of using olive oil or butter, use ghee (clarified butter) for an authentic Middle Eastern flavor.
– Type of Rice Dish: There are many popular Arabic rice dishes that use similar ingredients such as Mandi, Kabsah or plain yellow rice – why not try these variations to show off your culinary prowess?
With all these variations and substitutions at your disposal, the possibilities are endless!
Serving and Pairing
The Arabic Rice Recipe is a versatile dish that can be served as a main course or as a side dish. This Middle Eastern rice dish pairs perfectly with lamb meat or chicken for those who prefer a meaty flavor. The delicate aroma and exotic taste of this rice also make it the perfect accompaniment to other spiced meat dishes like Mandi, Kabsa, and Mutton.
For those who prefer a vegetarian option, serving Arabic Rice with a side of grilled vegetables is an excellent choice. The sweetness of the vegetables balances the slight spiciness of the rice, making it a delightful experience for your taste buds.
In addition to pairing it with meat dishes, I recommend serving this aromatic fragrance basmati rice in its simplicity with plain yogurt sauce or raita and urdu adding some fresh herbs like coriander or mint for an extra burst of flavor.
You can also pair this marvelous Eastern rice pilaf with yellow lentil soup, hummus with pita bread, tabbouleh salad or Baba ganoush as side dishes.
No matter what your preference is, you can’t go wrong with serving Arabic Rice. It’s guaranteed to transport you to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East with every spoonful.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
When it comes to making Arabic rice, time and preparation are key. That’s why it’s great news that this dish can be made ahead of time and stored for later use. Not only does this save you time on the day of your big dinner, but it also allows the flavors to meld together even more.
To make-ahead: Cook the rice as directed in step-by-step instructions (4). Let it cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat the rice in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little bit of hot chicken broth or water until heated through.
Storing: Stored properly, Arabic rice will stay fresh for several days in the fridge. However, because it contains meat, we recommend not exceeding three days. To store rice properly, always keep it covered in an airtight container or plastic wrap. If you plan on freezing leftover rice, divide into smaller containers before freezing them so that they defrost quickly and easily.
Reheating: Unlike some other dishes which may become soggy and lose their taste profile when reheated, Arabic rice can actually taste even better after being reheated. For best results, put some hot chicken broth or water in a pan and heat over medium heat until hot. Then add your pre-cooked rice and keep stirring until heated through. If you plan on reheating in a microwave, cover your cooked Arabic rice with wet paper towels or plastic wrap and heat for 1-2 minutes.
Now you know how simple it is to make Arabic rice ahead of time or store it for later use. With just a little extra planning and forethought, you’ll have one less thing to worry about on your next big occasion or weeknight dinner!
Tips for Perfect Results
To achieve the perfect Arabic rice dish, it’s essential to pay close attention to every detail, from ingredients to cooking time. Here are some tips that can help you cook a flavorful Arabic rice dish:
1. Soak the Rice
Before starting to cook, it’s recommended to soak the rice for at least 30 minutes in cold water. This process allows the rice grains to absorb water and soften, resulting in fluffy and tender grains after cooking.
2. Use the Right Ratio of Water
For every cup of basmati or long-grain rice, use one and a half cups of hot chicken broth or hot water. This proportion guarantees adequate moisture to cook the rice to perfection.
3. Add Some Vermicelli Pasta
Adding vermicelli pasta while cooking the onions on olive oil or butter is an exciting way to give a twist to the recipe. The pasta color turns golden brown once cooked, and it gives the dish a nice texture and nutty flavor.
4. Don’t Over-Stir While Cooking
When adding rice and water to the pan, keep stirring gently for 1-2 minutes just enough to ensure that everything mixes well without breaking down the grains. Once reaching a gentle boil, reduce heat immediately and avoid stirring again as this will cause clumps formation.
5. Spice It Up!
To increase the taste profile, spice arabic rice using garlic powder alongside other aromatic spices like cinnamon or cloves before mixing it with water.
6. Simmer Rice Correctly
After lowering the heat for simmering, cover it with a tight lid that doesn’t allow steam escape for about 18-20 minutes or until ready. Keep in mind not to open it frequently as this may interrupt its gentle simmering process.
By applying these Arabic rice tips mentioned above step-by-step from soaking time up to serving time, you are surely on your way to cooking an authentic Arabian dish that is amazingly delicious!
Now that we have gone through the recipe step-by-step, you may still have questions or concerns. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding this Arabic Rice Recipe, so you can cook this delicious dish with ease every single time.
What kind of rice do they eat in the Middle East?
For this recipe, rice is the staple ingredient, and typically, chefs prefer long-grain rice like basmati or jasmine. However, other types like bomba or misri are also great options to use.
What is Arab rice called?
A popular Middle Eastern cuisine called Vermicelli Rice or Arabic Rice is made by frying vermicelli pasta until it turns golden and then combining it with rice.
What is Lebanese rice made of?
Lebanese rice is made up of rice, broken vermicelli pasta, and a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and butter. However, my version only utilizes extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt for seasoning. Both medium and long grain rice work well for this dish.
What is the popular rice dishes in Saudi Arabia?
Originating from Saudi Arabia, Al Kabsa, also known as Khabsa, is a classic rice delicacy.
In conclusion, this Arabic Rice Recipe is an excellent option for anyone looking to add a little Middle Eastern flavor to their side dish. With its fragrant and savory combination of basmati rice, vermicelli pasta, and aromatic spices, it’s no wonder that rice dishes such as kabsa got popular in Saudi Arabia and mandi in Yemen. This recipe is easy to make and adaptable to your preferences, whether you prefer a plain or spicy variation.
I personally recommend using high-quality ingredients like Long grain Basmati rice, extra virgin olive oil or butter, and hot chicken broth to elevate the flavors of the dish further. Also, do not forget to soak the rice before you start cooking it as it makes it fluffier.
Overall, there are countless ways to enjoy this dish as it pairs well with various types of meat, vegetables or could be had on its own. I guarantee this recipe will become one of your favorite grain dishes and possibly your go-to for family gatherings or dinner parties.
So, give this recipe a try and transport yourself to the rich cultural cuisine of the Middle East. Your taste buds will never be the same again!
Arabic Rice Recipe
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 1 cup vermicelli (broken into 1-inch pieces)
- 3 1/2 cups hot chicken broth or 3 1/2 cups hot water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Saute vermicelli (thins noddles broken into 1" pieces) in oil on low heat, stirring constantly until brown.
- Add Rice,salt, mix, add hot chicken broth or hot water, stir once, bring to boil.
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender and broth is absorbed.
- Ready to serve. Excellent with any stew recipe or any main dish.