Rice is an essential and a beloved ingredient in the Arab kitchen. It is served almost with every meal. Rice is often served next to stews or an important ingredient in stuffing vegetables or meats like lamb or chicken. This rice dish is a very popular recipe in the Middle East, especially loved in the Gulf countries. Bukhari rice gets its name from the famous city of Bukhara, a formerly prominent outpost on the famous Silk Road which was a network of trade routes that connected the East and the West. The Silk Road was, in fact, one of the most important channels in the distribution of spices. Therefore much of the cooking in the Gulf Countries reflect the impact of the ancient spice traders. Bukhari Rice is so aromatic and flavorful yet has a complex taste from the various spices and textures. My kids said it tastes like the holidays and is probably a perfect side dish for thanksgiving ( who am i thinking that far ahead) lol. But until thanksgiving i am now serving this delicious aromatuic rice with some grilled chicken, yogurt and a simple salad.
2 cups brown (or regular) basmati rice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 grated carrots
1 green chili or chili flakes (optional)
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
3 tsps bukhari spice (you can use my code mai10 to get a discoun of your purchase) or a mix of:
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon corriander
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
few grates of fresh nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
16 Oz can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dried raisins
1 Loomi **
3 cups hot vegetable or chicken broth or water will do. You need enough to cover the rice by 1/2 inch
1/2 cup dry roasted nuts (almonds and pine nuts to garnish
Also called limoo Amani, these black lemons, are actually dried limes. They are a staple flavor in the cuisine of the gulf countries, Iraq and Iran.
They taste sour and citrusy like a lime but they also taste earthy and somewhat smoky. they are preserved and dried for a long time in the sun they also have a slightly bitter, fermented. Often available at Middle Eastern and spice shops.
Rinse and drain the rice a few times, until the water runs clear.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil, add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes until they soften and become translucent. Add the carrots, raisins, loumi, spices, bay leaves, and sauté for a minute or two. Heating the spices will bloom their flavors and they become more aromatic.
Add the rice and the chickpeas and toss them with all the aromatics for 2-3 minutes tossing often.
Add the broth or water, stir, and let it come to a boil.
Cover the pot, lower the heat to low and Cook for 20-30 minutes until the rice is fluffy and cooked through (no peeking).
Fluff gently with a fork
Once ready to serve top with some toasted nuts.
Serve with plain yogurt, simple chopped salad. This side dish is a perfect compliment to any long roasted or grilled meats. My kids said it’s tastes like the holidays and is probably perfect for thanksgiving.