• رز بخاري •
A very popular recipe in the Middle East, especially loved in the Gulf countries, Bukhari Rice is an aromatic and flavorful rice dish that features numerous spices and has an interesting origin.
This dish gets its name from the famous city of Bukhara, a formerly prominent outpost on the fabled Silk Road which traversed the entire Asian continent for centuries. In reality, there wasn’t just one Silk Road, rather there multiple economic and cultural trade routes that were all effective in linking the cultures of East and West and everything in between. The Silk Road was, in fact, one of the most important channels in the distribution of spices. As the terminus of the route, the Middle East was flush with spices ready to be shipped and traded further afield. This dish reflects the spices one could have found among the famed Silk Road.
This rice has a wonderful fragrance, a complex taste, and a lovely color (due to the shredded carrots). This dish is best enjoyed with a chopped salad, vegan yogurt, or as an accompaniment to bean or tofu dishes. Don’t forget to toast some nuts for sprinkling on top. In this case, almonds are my favorite. Simply sauté them with a couple teaspoons of oil in a small saucepan while stirring constantly until golden.
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped or sliced thin
- 1 heaping cup of grated carrot
- 1 cinnamon stick and/or ½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1½ teaspoons cardamom
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (or more, to your taste)
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon clove
- 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
- 3¼ cups hot vegetable broth
- sea salt (to taste, depends on how salty your vegetable broth is--I used 1 teaspoon)
- nuts or dried fruits to garnish
- Rinse and drain the rice 3 times, then cover with warm water and let it soak for at least 10 minutes or more.
- In a large nonstick saucepan or pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and fry the onions with just a pinch of salt until they get soft and start to take a nice brown color on the edges. Add in the carrots and sauté for another minute or two. While that's going on, drain the rice and have it ready next to you.
- Now, to the onion and carrot mix, add the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cumin, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, and clove and sauté for another 30 seconds. The aroma will be very fragrant. Quickly add the drained rice and the chickpeas and stir them around gently to incorporate all the spices. Pour in the hot vegetable broth, stir, and let it come to a boil with the lid just slightly off the pot. After 5 minutes, you'll notice that the level of broth is now just below the surface of the rice and bubbles are popping through. (If this isn't the case, let it boil a few minutes more.) Cover the pot tightly with the lid and put the heat underneath on the lowest setting possible. Cook undisturbed (no peeking or stirring!) for 22 minutes.
- After 22 minutes have elapsed, remove the lid and gently fold and fluff the rice with a spatula or a rice paddle. Then cover it again and let it sit off the heat for 5 minutes to finish it off.