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Somali Bariis By Amal Dalmar

by Kiano Moju featured in Party Rice Around Africa

Inspired by


for 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon
    ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon
    ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon
    ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon
    ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon
    black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon
    ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon

Rice Pilaf

  • ¼ cup
    vegetable oil (60 mL)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • ¼ cup
    fresh cilantro, chopped (10 g)
  • 1 tablespoon
    xawaash, xawaash
  • 2 cups
    basmati rice, soaked for at least 1 hour and drained (400 g)
  • 2 ½ cups
    hot water (600 mL)
  • 1 drop red food coloring, mixed with 1 teaspoon of water
  • 3 drops orange food coloring, mixed with 1 teaspoon of water
  • ¼ cup
    raisin (40 g)

Rice Topping

  • 1 large russet potato, cut into 1/4-in (6-mm) thick matchsticks and patted dry
  • ⅛ teaspoon
    orange food coloring, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of water
  • oil, for frying
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
    Calories 612
    Fat 22g
    Carbs 93g
    Fiber 2g
    Sugar 6g
    Protein 11g

Estimated values based on one serving size.



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Make the xawaash: In a medium bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. Heat a medium oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil, onion, tomato, garlic, and cinnamon stick. Cook until the onions have softened slightly, 5-6 minutes.
  4. Season with salt, then add the vegetable stock cube and cilantro. Cook for 1 minute, breaking up the stock cube.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium, then stir in the xawaash and soaked rice. Cook for about 3 minutes so rice grains lightly toast.
  6. Pour in the hot water and increase the heat to high to bring to a boil. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven, and bake for 20 minutes. Check periodically to be sure the rice has enough water.
  7. Remove the cooked rice from the oven and drizzle the red and orange food colorings on top. Gently mix so there are different colored grains.
  8. Sprinkle the raisins over the hot rice, cover, and set aside.
  9. To prepare the topping, mix the potatoes with the orange food coloring in a medium bowl (wear gloves to avoid stained fingers!).
  10. Heat about 1 inch ( 2 cm) of oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the potatoes and cook for 5-6 minutes, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil.
  11. In the same oil, fry the onion slices until browned and crispy, 2-3 minutes. Add the red peppers cooking for an additional minute. Drain on paper towels.
  12. To assemble the rice, transfer the pilaf to a large serving platter. Top with the fried potatoes, crispy onions, and red bell peppers.
  13. Enjoy!




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