Saturday, August 8, 2009

Somali Restaurant Rice

I call this restaurant rice because this is the kind of rice that is usually served in the Restaurants. I also think this rice is really good after it is refrigerated overnight. It gives the spices time to really get through the rice. Also, most people add onions (sliced long ways) to the rice, my family doesn't like onions so I don't use them.

Cook time about 30-35 minutes
Serves about 2-3 Large portions

2 Cups of Rice, washed and drained
4 Cups of Water
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tablespoons of Cilantro
3 Cardamom Seeds
1 Teaspoon of Cumin Powder
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1/2 Cup of Oil
1/4 Cup of Raisin
1 Chicken cube
1 Tablespoon of Yellow food coloring

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Bring the water to a boil

While waiting for the water to boil, smash the garlic, cilantro and cardamom seeds.

In a pan on high, heat the oil. Add the chicken cube, salt, cumin, cilantro, garlic, cardamom seeds and raisins. Cook until the raisins puff up.

Add the rice and stir well for 2 minutes.

Add the boiling water and give it a quick stir making sure all the rice is in the water and no stuck to the side of the pan.

Cook until most of the water is gone.

Add the food coloring, do not stir. Cover and put in the oven for 10 minutes.

Stir the rice well to get the color through. Serve.


  1. Salam alaykom sis! Your blog is really nice, and i love the how to videos. In sha Allah this Blog will be beneficial for you Allahumma Ameen.
    And i Love your kitchen ma sha Allah : D

    And here is some late Mubarak for your baby girl : )

    regards your sister in Islam, firdous

  2. Masha Allah. Thank you so much for your kindness. It took me about 5 years to get my kitchen how it is now...hehe. Thanks for visiting.

  3. Salam alaykom. your blog is great and when i made your rice it turned out wonderful! thanks.

  4. salaam aalykum uktee

    can u add meat to it ?

  5. Assalamu Aliakum,

    I have never actually added meat while cooking the rice, but it is always served with some kind of meat. Usually Suqar, chicken legs, goat meat or steak on top.

  6. Essalam alikum sister,

    I would like to thank you very much for your effort to share your knowledge in cooking, especially since I have tried for several years to find out how the restaurant Somali cook their rice

    I have asked many Somali people to show me but in vain.
    I live in Toronto, clause to one of the famous Somali restaurant, Hamdi Restaurant, and now I have an opportunity to prepare same rice.
    I’ll try it this weekend and let you know if it’s successful

    I’m from North Africa, where we eat rice once in a blue moon.

    Baraka allahu fiki

  7. Hello sister i think wat u r doin is gd nd keep the gd work up.

  8. Salaam walaikum sister! Ramadaan Mubarak!! I am making the Somali rice as I write, I will also make beef suuqaar also and will let you know how it went.

    Thanx a billion for these recipes!!!

  9. I always wanted to get some way of showing my wife, who is from Asia, how to make some of the somali foods. I can now refer her to your blog and let you show her. Thanks sister, may Allah reward you for this.

  10. Many thanks for posting; I was in a Somali restaurant in Chicago that had this and it was better than any rice I'd ever excited to try your recipe!

  11. I am going to get married in a month and i had no idea how to cook somali foods...and my mother was worried but now i see ur great website and i have no worries.

  12. I am somalian women and i do not know how to cook the rice thank you alhamdulilaah.


  13. Love it! I can say that over and over again. I did have the good fortune of someone showing me how to prepare this dish before I searched for it. True BLESSINGS to you for what you do.


  14. im going to try to make this for my family :D Thank youu sister

  15. do u have to add rasinis and wat is chicken cube

    1. No, you don't have to add the raisins, they just make th rice a little sweeter. A chicken cube is a bouillon cube; like chicken stock or broth.

  16. For the 1/2 cup oil in the recipe, what kind of oil should I use? Olive oil, vegetable oil, canola oil or something else? Thanks in advance for your reply, I'm planning on making this for dinner tomorrow and I've never made a somali dish before. Just thought of one more question. Should I grind up the whole cardamom pod or do I remove the seeds and just grind those up?

    1. I use canola oil but you can use vegetable oil as well. Smash the whole pod. I just smash it until it opens up and the seeds come out then add the whole thing (pod and seeds) to the rice. Just pick the pods out before serving and leave the seeds in. If you do not have anything to smash them with you can just pop them open with your hands and throw them in. I hope it turns out well, you picked a great dish to try for the first time!

  17. I could see using the chicken cube instead of chicken stock, even though using stock would be better and not much more difficult. But when I saw food coloring I cried a little inside. Do you think Somali people are putting food coloring in their rice?! Its turmeric! I guarantee you no restaurant is putting yellow food coloring in their rice. And if they are I suggest you eat elsewhere.

  18. Masha'Allah im excited, please never stop this blog, JZK!

  19. I like making breakfast with my kids. I tend to be a bit of a control freak in the kitchen, though. I often find it best to point them in the right direction, then move to another room of the house until they need help witg something.
    Jayme Silvestri