Arabic Gulf Rice


This recipe is pretty much the standard recipe served throughout Gulf homes for dinner. The light flavors of popular Arabic spices mixed with a bit of tomato make for a perfect fragrant rice. During Ramadan rice is often ate for suhoor. I have found that most Muslims in the West tend to eat breakfast foods at that time while Muslims in the Middle East rely on foods that one eat for dinner such as rice, soups and samboosas to make sure everyone is full for the entire day.

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 white onion, diced
3/4 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup basmati rice, washed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 chicken bouillon cube
pinch ground cardamom
pinch ground cumin
pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 garlic clove, smashed

1. In a 2-quart saucepan on medium heat add oil, onion and garlic. Allow to cook until tender about 2-3 minutes.

2. Add tomato paste, salt, rice, cardamom, cumin and cinnamon. Stir allow to cook for 3 minutes.

3. Add water and chicken cube. Stir well making sure chicken cube is dissolved. Bring to a full boil then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes then take off heat and allow to steam for a remaining 10 minutes. (Never remove lid).

4. Fluff with a fork and place onto a serving plate.

Yields: 3 servings

8 Responses to Arabic Gulf Rice

  • Very simple and flavourful rice..

  • Yumm, you always make me feel hungry. :(

  • yum! im going to make this tomorrow inshallah!

  • Amna thanks thats what a cook wants to hear :)

    MM inshAllah you love it. I grilled some chicken with ours.

  • i love rice too. although, we prefer just plain white rice.

    but… i need to get my hands on some of those spices and start seasoning my rice infusing all those flavors!



  • enjoy dear and yes you should its great with spices as well but I like white too.

  • How much water do you put in?

    • Anytime you cook white basmati you double the water for the amount of rice you make. So if you cook 1 cup of rice use 2 cups of water, etc.

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