Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bariis & Sukhaar

We eat different variations of bariis (rice) and sukhaar (small pieces of beef or chicken) about once a week in my home and what I love most about it is that you can cook it differently each time- no meal will taste the same. Here's one I made last week:

The rice

What you'll need:

- 4 cups of rice
- 1 tomato chopped
- 2 maggi chicken cubes
- handful of chopped parsley
- minced garlic
- 1/2 of an onion chopped


1. sautee the onions over a medium-high heat until they are golden brown.
2. add your chopped tomato, minced garlic, and parsley
3. add your maggi cubes and mix
4. add 4 cups of rice and mix
5. add 3 cups of water
6. put rice on low-medium heat and leave it for 20 minutes
7. pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees
8. after twenty minutes, put the rice in the oven to finish cooking
9. take rice out of the oven after 10 minutes and leave to cool

Chicken Sukhaar

What you'll need

- yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1/2 of an onion, chopped
- minced garlic
- chopped parsley
- xawaaji (a Somali spice)
- curry
- paprika
- chilli powder
- salt
- pepper
- garlic powder


1. marinate 1/4 pound of chicken sukhaar (chicken breast cut into small pieces)
2. mix sukhaar with 4 tablespoons of yogurt, and all of the above mentioned spices
3. mix it well and refrigerate for at least 3 hours
3. 3 hours later, grease a frying pan on medium-high with butter
4. add your marinated chicken to fry
5. 10 minutes later, add your chopped onions, parsely, and minced garlic
6. put on medium-low for 10-15 minutes
7. done

Serve your rice and sukhaar :)



  1. when did you learn how to cook? lol ;) mashaAllah.

  2. lol I've always wondered what xawaaji is in English...let me know if you figure it out ;)

  3. haha :) I asked one sister while I was typing this out. She said "I don't know, just say a Somali spice lol"

    I have no clue! Still trying to figure it out.

  4. could it be sumac? is it reddish powder?

  5. adding golden raisins to the rice is a nice touch

  6. no Juli it's not sumac.. it's dark brown.

    ibnabeeomar, raisins are normally added.. esp for special occasions. For me, banana is enough of a sweetner! I can't really eat rice, banana, and raisins.

  7. assallammu do you pronounce that somali spice so i can ask for it at a somali store without making a fool out of myself? jazaki Allah khair!!

  8. wa 'alaykumassalam!

    lol! You can say hawaaji... pronounced hawaa (like the name and then ji (like gee) =)

    It will most likely be written as xawaaji.

    Let me know if you find it!


  9. jazaki Allah khair, i will look for it...
    now heres another question, why do somalis use the letter x for the h sound?

  10. In the Somali language, we have 2 letters that represent the h sound in English.

    we have 'X' which is the stronger h, there's more emphasis on this one using the throat. Like the name Hawwa.

    and then we have h, used for softer letters.. like the word Hello :) Hope that explains it.

    So x equals the Arabic letter ح

    and our h equals the Arabic letter ﻫ

  11. Assallammu alaikum!
    I went to a somali store today looking for xawaaji and i didnt see anything with that label so i asked a somali sister who was shopping close by if she knew what it was, and she said it was just cumin and corriander, she picked up a bag of whole cumin and a bag of whole corriander and said its these two and the brother who worked in the store came and said the same thing. so i said ohh ok well i have those at home!