Bariis Iskukaris – Spicy Rice and Meat From Somalia

Somali Entree

(Spicy Rice and Meat)


1 cup basmati rice
½” ginger root
2 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1 large tomato
3 cardamom seeds
3 cloves
¾ pound lamb, beef, goat, or chicken
2½ tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon vegetable seasoning
1½ cups water
½ teaspoon saffron threads

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 40 minutes.


Cook rice according to instructions on package. While rice cooks, grate ginger root. Mince garlic cloves and onion. Dice tomato. Grind cardamom seeds and cloves into powder. Cut meat into ½” cubes. Add ghee, garlic, onion, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and cloves to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium-high heat or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently.

Add meat cubes, coriander, cumin, ginger, salt, and vegetable seasoning. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until meat browns. Stir frequently. Add tomato. Cover and cook at medium heat for 10 minutes or until a sauce is obtained. Stir occasionally.

Add 1½ cups water. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir enough to prevent burning. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until meat is tender and most of the water has been absorbed. Stir occasionally. Add saffron. Cover, and simmer at low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick. Add rice to plate. Ladle spicy meat mix onto rice.


1) Food left on a burner can burn within minutes or at the most, within a day. Bears take two weeks to three months to hibernate. It’s a certainty that any food bears left on the stove at the start of their Big Sleep will have turned into ashes by the time they stirred. There’s no evolutionary future for a species that habitually burns its food. That’s why we descended from apes.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

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