This is a typical Iraqi rice dish. I remember having it throughout my life with slight different variations by mum just to change the flavour slightly and not hear us complain that we are having the same dish again. Mum would respond by “it is not the same dish, this one has (that) or (that vegetable) so it’s a different” .
This is a very very easy dish to cook and is served with plain yogurt. As you might have noticed most of rice dishes I cook is served with yogurt, I think it is a perfect combination.
The basic ingredients are ; rice, carrots, mince meat , onions and cinnamon powder. What I have added in this recipe is peas. I usually add diced white potato too. You can add both ! Some add small dices of meat instead of minced meat. So as you can see this dish is quiet versatile but I would suggest not adding to many vegetables, and to stick to meat and not chicken for this recipe.
I must point out something vital here. I am using rice cooker. I think I should do a post just on this topic. Honestly a rice cooker is a cooking life changer. My mother in law gave me one as a present just after I married her son. I shrugged it off and left it collecting dust for months until I decided to use it one day and have never looked back since. I don’t remember not cooking rice without a rice cooker.
A rice cooker is an electric automated cooking pot that cooks and steams the rice all by itself. There are many brands and types. It’s not very expensive and you can cook more than just rice with it (so I am told) since it is automated temperature you can cook soup, pasta and broths.
My monkeys love this dish and I love how the cinnamon compliments the meat and rice. Lets cook …
3 medium size carrots , finally diced
1 white onion, finally chopped
1 1/2 cup of peas
1/2 kg mince meat ( i am using lamb)
2 cups of rice (Basmati)
2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
2 teaspoons of Turmric
*You can vary the amount of vegetables / meat depending on taste.
Step 1- In a hot oiled pan fry the minced meat and onion together till meat is cooked. Add the peas (or another vegetable) and cook for five minutes.
Step 2- Add the spices and seasoning to the mix and cook for another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.
Step 3- Wash the rice a few times and place in a cooking pot (rice cooker) with water (water should reach few centimetres above the rice) add a tablespoon of oil and cook till most of the water is evaporated.
Step 4- Add the meat and vegetable mixture to the pot (rice cooker) just when the rice is still tender and still cooking but the water is almost gone. Mix well and leave to cook.
Step 5 – If cooking with rice cooker, it will automatically turn off and you can give it a final mix before serving. If using a pot, make sure the rice is well cooked and mixed with the meat and vegetable. Serve the rice with yogurt or by itself.