Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bariis Iskokaris and Hilib Ari

I've always been a big fan of rice. Whether it's Indian biryani or Somali bariis iskokaris. Ever since I was a child, my mother would tell me how I hated pasta and bread, but would always eat rice. So at a young age I learned how to make bariis iskokaris (mixed rice). I decided to make some for the family tonight even though my family would prefer pasta over rice :) I hope you guys like it!


-2 lbs. chopped lamb or beef (I think it tastes better with lamb) :)

-4 cups basmati rice

-2 large onions

-4 Maggi chicken bouillon cubes (available at any Indian, Somali or Arab grocer. If you don't want to use these, you may substitute one cup of chicken broth instead.)

-2 tbs. garlic

- 1/3 cup vegetable oil or ghee

- 1 tbs. saffron

- 1/3 cup ghee

-1 cup mixed vegetables

-4 cinnamon sticks

-2 large brown potatoes

*Before beginning, place lamb in a pot and add a lot of water.
*Add 2 Maggi chicken bouillon cubes instead of salt.
*Cover it and put it on the stove without adding anything else.
*Leave and allow to cook for at least 2 hrs or more until the meat becomes well done.
*Make sure you taste your meat and that the salt (from the bouillon cubes) is not too much.
*Be sure to add water if you think it will evaporate because we'll be using all that lamb broth to make our bariis iskukaris (mixed rice)

In a separate pot:

*Heat the ghee and add the onion when ghee is very hot.
*Wait until the onion is red and it almost becomes black.
*Add Maggi cubes/chicken broth, cover it and wait for at least 3 minutes.
*Add the garlic and cover it again this time adding 2 Maggi chicken bouillon cubes.
*Wait for 5 minutes until everything cooks and almost dissolves.
*Add the vegetables and cinnamon sticks together--all this time you're not adding water.
*Make sure the stove is on medium heat because you don't want your vegetables and ghee to burn.
*Wash your rice and add it, stirring for about a minute.
*Go to your other pot that had the lamb juice and take the lamb out.
*Add about 4 cups of the lamb broth into your rice and cover it for about 20 minutes.
*Mix saffron with a half a cup of water, stir, and add to one side of the rice ( it doesn't matter which side).
*Turn oven to 350°. (I usually put the oven at about 400°, but you shouldn't if it's your first time because you don't want your rice to get burned or dry.)
*Take your rice and put it in the oven.
*Wait for at least 10-15 minutes and turn oven off.
*Make sure it doesn't get burned.
*Your rice is ready to eat, but don't eat it yet because you'll want to have it with your hilib (lamb!

By now you should have your lamb waiting on a plate or in the pot. Remember we didn't use the lamb itself to make the rice but we used the lamb broth. I bet you were wondering what you would do with the lamb. Now pay attention here because this can get little tricky ;).

*Now take about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil or ghee and warm it in a separate pot and add your onion when the ghee gets warm.
*Add the 2 remaining Maggi cubes and cover it for about 2 minutes.
*Add the lamb that was already cooked, add half cup of water, and cover it for about 5 minutes.
*Add the potatoes that you already pre-sliced and cover the pot.
*Make sure the heat is on medium because we don't want our lamb burning, leave it for about 20 minutes and it should be ready... eat it with your rice :)

If you have more questions about this dish you can ask me on the blog or send me an e-mail. I hope you like it as much as I do! :)


  1. ahh sounds sooooo delish, naeemah!!!! and looks sooooooooooooo good mashaallah! I will try it when we get basmati rice inshallah LOL after we move :P I love rice too! the only things I'd be allergic (well zeyd) to here is the ghee (it's dairy) and the maggi cubes (they have wheat I believe)..but those could always be subbed with stock/broth or veg bouillon (i've used these) and oil...jazakillah khair for the recipe!!

  2. Masha'Allah sis

    I think I will make the lamb tomorrow. It looks awesome. When I make it I will take a pic and post the recipe, if that is ok? I will also post a link to your site that I got the recipe from you.. Is this ok with you?


  3. Assallammu alaikum sister,
    I was hoping to make this somali rice and lamb dish tomorrow, but i am a bit confused about the Maggi cubes - you mention to put 2 in the water used to boil the lamb. And the total cubes mentioned are 4, but then you say to put some with the onions, and then 2 when you put the garlic, and then again 2 when you cook the lamb with the onions, so im a bit confused because it would have to be more than 4 cubes in this case - are you adding maggi at 4 different steps? and how many cubes each step?
    And also, is it 1 large onion for the rice and 1 large onion for the meat, or 2 onions for each? This dish looks sooo delicious and i hope inshaAllah i am able to make it come out as tasty as yours!! I hope i hear back from you soon so i dont mess this dish up...