Somali Rice

Somali Rice

I recently teamed up with Matter, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization that provides health supplies and healthy food to those in need all around the world. As part of this initiative, they provide Matter Boxes (boxes containing healthy, shelf-stable boxed and canned goods) to low-income communities in our area.

However, coming up with interesting and healthful ways to use these ingredients can be a challenge for the recipients, so Matter sought out some food bloggers to develop recipes using items from the Matter Box. And that’s where I come in. Knowing that the Somali community receives many of these boxes, I researched several recipes and ultimately adapted this Somali rice recipe to use with some of the Matter Box ingredients. It’s a fast, easy and healthful recipe packed with great flavors!

Our local ABC affiliate, KSTP Channel 5, invited me in to their studio to make this meal on their Twin Cities Live show this week. Here’s a link to that segment: http://twincitieslive.com/article/stories/s4170068.shtml.

Somali Rice
Serves 4-6

½ cup cooking oil (canola or vegetable)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cardamom (or about 30 seeds from 3 fresh cardamom pods)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2-3 cloves)
¼ cup minced cilantro leaves (plus extra for optional garnish)
1 yellow onion, sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch strips
½ cup raisins
6 ounces Minute brand multi-grain medley (2 packages from the box)
1 can green beans
1 can sliced carrots
½ cup hot water
Salt (to taste)

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the cumin and cardamom, stir and let sizzle for 10-15 seconds, then add the garlic, cilantro, onion and raisins.

Cook, stirring, until the raisins puff up and become round and full, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the Minute brand multi-grain medley and stir well to combine. Pour in the entire contents of the two cans of vegetables—the vegetables as well as their brine/liquid. Add the hot water and stir just once until mixed.

Reduce heat to medium low, cover pan and cook until most of the water has absorbed. Taste and adjust salt as desired.

Serve hot as a side dish or main course. Optional: garnish with additional minced cilantro.

 

Step by Step Details

I created this dish to use some of the boxed and canned goods contained in the Matter Box, using other on-hand ingredients as well.

SomaliRice1

Mince the garlic and cilantro, slice onions lengthwise into ¼” strips. Little known fact: onions hold their shape better during cooking when sliced lengthwise instead of across the middle.

Measure out the raisins and spices, too, so everything is ready to go.

SomaliRice2

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the cumin and cardamom, stir and let sizzle for 10-15 seconds, then add the garlic, cilantro, onion and raisins.

Cook, stirring, until the raisins puff up and become round and full, about 2-3 minutes.

SomaliRice3

Add the multi-grain medley and stir well to combine, then pour in the entire contents of the two cans of vegetables—the vegetables as well as their brine/liquid. There’s a lot of flavor in that brine. Add the hot water and stir just once until mixed.

Matter-Somali3

Reduce heat to medium low, cover pan and cook until most of the water has absorbed. Taste and add salt as desired.

Serve hot as a side dish or main meal. Optional: garnish with additional minced cilantro. Enjoy!

Somali Rice

 

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