Syrian rice and peas

Serves: 4


2 1/2 cup short grain white rice

2 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup almonds, peeled

1 1/2 cup tap water

salt, pepper, baharat

optional: red meat (mince, flakes, cubes – your choice); or a variety of vegetables, such as slices of carrot



Soak the rice for no less than an hour.

Blanch the peas in a pot on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.

When ready, drain and leave aside.

Drain the rice and add into a clean non-stick tefal pot.

Add a very fine drizzle of oil and stir through the rice on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes.

Next add the peas and stir in.

Add about 1 and a half cups of tap water – or enough to immerse the rice by about a centimetre.

Add salt to the pot – the saltiness should be what you’d normally eat, about 2 tbs.

Leave uncovered on high heat until it boils.

Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 30 minutes (or until rice is done), stirring a few times throughout.

When ready, turn off the stove but leave the rice in there until you’re ready to serve.

Next, roast some almonds in a pan, on low heat, with a few tablespoons of oil.

When golden, remove from the pan and leave aside.

Optional: if you have some red meat that’s sitting in the fridge, you can use this to add onto the dish. Chunks of chicken (breast/thigh or drumstick) works just as well. The one I have on the plate is of the neck/shoulder. The whole thing was boiled in water, washed, then reboiled with a heap of spices (cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, nutmeg, baharat, peppercorns, salt, ground pepper, cloves, star anise). Then it was cooked in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes (with the spices, still). I took the meat off the bone and used it where needed – although you can serve the entire neck as if it were a roast with veggies, etc.

To do mince meat: cook in a pan with baharat, salt and pepper until well done. Leave aside until serving time.

Mince meat inside the rice: cook in a pan with salt and spices, add the peas to the meat when it’s medium-done. Stir through for a minute, then add to the rice 15 minutes after it’s been left to cook on low heat.

To do the vegetables: line the bottom of the pot with the carrot before cooking the rice. When ready, turn the whole thing upside down onto a serving plate. Or you can separately cook the vegetables and add on top.


To dish up, place the rice on a serving plate (can serve individually), top with the meat (or chicken; or veggies), cover with the roasted almonds. Dust with baharat and pepper.

Serve with fatoosh, salad or a yoghurt salad.


Modest for looks, yet royal for taste…

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