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Rice Dishes across the Muslim World

As far back as 2500 B.C rice has been documented not only as a source of food, but a marker of tradition & heritage. From Nasi Goreng, to Maqluba & Biryani, the Muslim World is beautifully diverse & home to a variety of rice dishes.

We explore rice dishes across the Muslim World...

Nasi Goreng, Indonesia

Nasi Goreng is a popular Indonesian fried rice topped with a fried egg. This spicy fried rice is full of flavor seasoned with sweet soy sauce (Kecap Manis) and shrimp paste. It’s one of the most requested fried rice dish in Southeast Asian cuisine.

Bariis iskukaris

Somalia Made from basmati rice, it is typically topped with raisins, peas, & fried potatoes, onions & peppers, & served with roasted lamb, beef, goat, camel, or chicken. It is a national dish of Somalia & is especially popular at weddings & is a staple dish.

Kabuli Pulao (Spiced Lamb Pilaf), Afghanistan

Kabuli Pulao is an Afghan rice dish made by cooking lamb with a delightful blend of spices. The lamb is then piled high on the rice and served with carrots, raisins, and toasted almonds.

Mansaf, Jordan

A traditional Jordanian meal containing plain yogurt sauce. The yogurt is mixed with lamb broth, which has been simmered for many hours with various spices. It is separated into three layers and placed on a huge serving dish with rice

Mandi, Yemen

Mandi is a traditional dish that originated from Hadhramaut, Yemen, consisting mainly of meat and rice with a special blend of spices, cooked in a pit underground. It is delicious, extremely popular & prevalent in the Arabian Peninsula

Skudahkharis, Djibouti

Skudahkharis is indisputably the national dish of Djibouti. Commonly prepared during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, it is made of rice, lamb and ayurvedic spices such as cardamom. It can also go well with chicken, beef or fish.


A classic and traditional Mughal dessert, made with rice, sugar, nuts and cardamom seeds. The name Zarda comes from the Urdu word ‘Zard’, which means yellow – this is why Zarda is often a very bright hue of yellow or orange!


A traditional Iraqi, Lebanese, Palestinian, Jordanian, & Syrian dish served throughout the Levant. It consists of meat, rice & fried vegetables placed in a pot which is flipped upside down when served, hence the name maqluba, which translates as "upside-down."


A mixed rice dish originating among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. It is made with spices, rice, and usually some type of meat or in some cases without any meat, and sometimes, in addition, eggs and potatoes.

Nasi Lemak, Malaysia

The national dish of Malaysia. Nasi means rice & Lemak means rich or tasty. Rice is boiled in water with coconut milk, pandan leaves & other spices. It is served with sambal (chilli sauce with shrimp paste), fried dried anchovies & roasted peanuts.

Gheymeh nesar, Iran

A festive dish originating from Qazvin. It consists of diced meat such as beef or lamb that is braised with onions & spices, as well as steamed rice & a flavorful combination of ingredients such as slivered pistachios, almonds, barberries, & orange peel.


Also called Kabsa & Makboos, Majboos is a traditional mixed rice dish that originated in Saudi Arabia. It's famous in the Arab World especially in the Gulf countries including Oman. The dish consists of rice, usually basmati, vegetables, meat or chicken & spices.

Bambukeyolee Baiy, Maldives

A traditional dish - the rice is cooked with breadfruit and coconut milk. It is served with some Rihaakuru Dhiya, or Garudhiya (Maldivian fish broth), some smoked tuna or Fihunu Mas, Lonumirus fresh limes, chillies & onions for a spectacular meal.

Koshri, Egypt

A cousin to the Middle Eastern Mujadara. In a nutshell, it is a comforting bowl of simple pantry staples: spiced lentils & rice, combined with chickpeas & small pasta. All smothered in a tomato sauce with vinegar. Then topped with crispy thin fried onion rings.

Riz bi Haleeb, Lebanon

Riz bi Haleeb, which is Arabic for “rice pudding,” is similar to a traditional rice pudding, but with a delicious spin on the recipe. This rice pudding is flavored with orange blossom water & rose water, giving it aromatic hints of floral flavour.


The name Pilaf refers to the technique of cooking rice that leaves the grains very loose. In the recipe the rice is sautéed with oil or ghee butter, onion & various spices (cardamom, cumin, star anise) before the addition of vegetable broth which makes the rice aromatic.

Plov, Uzbekistan

Plov is a very popular, historic Uzbek dish. Also referred to as “pilaf” or “palov”, it’s made up of long grain rice, tender chunks of lamb, onions, and carrots.

Jollof rice, West Africa

One of the most common dishes in West Africa. There are several regional variations. The dish is typically made with long-grain rice, tomatoes, onions, spices, vegetables and meat in a single pot, although its ingredients and preparation methods vary

Sehriyeli Pilav, Turkey

This particular pilaf is cooked with butter, oil, and orzo, which is a small rice shaped pasta. It's a nice side to serve with grilled meats, stewed dishes, and anytime you would serve plain rice.


Also known as payasam, kheer is a sweet dish and pudding popular in the Indian subcontinent, usually made by boiling milk, sugar or jaggery, and rice with added cardamom and nuts to garnish.


Kabsa is an Arab mixed rice dish, served on a communal platter, that originates from Saudi Arabia It is commonly regarded as a national dish in all the countries of the Arabian Peninsula.

Iraqi Timman Jizar

This dish is very common in Iraq & is known throughout the Arab world. It is also known as carrot rice. Carrots, onions & beef are laced with Arabian spices along with long grain Basmati rice. It can easily be a vegetarian dish by omitting the beef mince.

Rouz Jerbi, Tunisia

Rouz Jerbi or Djerbian rice is a Tunisian rice dish from Djerba. The dish includes rice, various vegetables, herbs, and spices. Usually made with beef, liver, lamb, chicken, or seafood.

Shah Pilaf, Azerbaijan

A dish worthy of a king - or perhaps simply the main course of a wedding ceremony shah pilaf (translated as crown pilaf) is infused with a medley of local aromas. It goes through several stages of preparation before reaching its distinctive final shape.


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