Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Basic Iraqi Biryani

Excuse the pics, I used my phone camera for these.

This is the rice and the spice for the most basic version of Iraqi Biryani.

2 cups uncooked basmati rice. Rinse it well, with warm water, to get rid of the excess starch/dust, and drain it.

A strainer such as this one is useful for draining the water out of the rice.

1/2 cup short vermicelli (orzo works great tooBold).
1/3 cup olive oil
Pour about 1/3 cup olive oil or cooking oil in the bottom of the pot, toast the pasta until golden brown and a nutty aroma escapes it. Immediately pour in the rice and stir it together really well to prevent the pasta from getting too dark.

2 Tablespoons of Arabic seven spice (If you can't find Arabic seven spice, use 1 tsp. each of ground cinnamon, cardamom, black or white pepper, nutmeg, coriandar, and dry mustard)
salt to taste
4 cups water (for softer rice, use up to 6 cups water)
Add the spices and the water to the rice and stir everything together very well.

Heat everything just to a strong boil.

Now cover it and reduce the heat to the lowest level. Leave the rice covered and on a warm burner for at least 25 minutes, then turn it off, remove the lid and fluff it with a fork. Serve with soup that has a lot of broth, and spoon it over the rice to serve it.

*Accompanying Red Chicken Stew recipe coming soon.

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"If it ain't simple, I don't cook it."