Heavenly rice from Iraq

Recipe by Damaris Beems
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: Rice, Side dishCuisine: Iraq




Cooking time


Total time



This is one of the most important cooking discoveries of the year for me. You cook this rice the Iraqi way and believe me, that is very different from what you are used to. And with a result that you are not used to either. Rarely eaten such delicious rice. And also so beautiful. I found it in the Iraqi cookbook ‘Noomi’. And kudos kudos kudos for sharing because this is an ultimate prize winner.


  • 500 gram basmati rice

  • 2 white onions

  • 50 gram sour berries – barberries

  • 100 gram peeled pistachio’s

  • 1 package saffron powder

Cooking time

  • Wash the rice well. Rinse the starch well with the tap. Then soak the rice in water for 10 minutes. Then rinse it well again.
    Now cook the rice in the pan for 5 minutes. Then pour it into a colander and stir well with a fork. Make sure all the water is gone between the rice.
  • Soak the barberries in lukewarm water for at least 10 minutes.
    Finely chop the onions.
    Heat sunflower oil in your saucepan. Fry the onions for a few minutes. Now pour the rice over the onions. Close the pan with the lid wrapped in a tea towel. And put the ends around the handle. Leave the pan on low heat for 10 minutes.
    Dissolve the sachet of saffron powder in 75 ml of water.
    Now put out the heat. Preferably place the pan in a blanket or ‘hay madam’ and let it cook there for another 10 minutes. Stir in the drained sourberries. Pour the saffron water into the rice. Now stir everything well together. This way you get two colors of rice.
  • Garnish with some pistachios that you have roughly pounded in a mortar.

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