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Iraqi Biryani

Rice with saffron, minced lamb, chicken, carrot, potato and peas

Iraqi Biryani


250g minced lamb
2 tablesp fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablesp onions, finely chopped
1 cup vegetable oil or 220g, for deep frying
1 medium potato or 150g, cut into medium cubes
1 medium carrot or 150g, cut into medium cubes
1 medium onion or 125g, sliced
½ cup frozen green peas or 80g, thawed
1 whole chicken or 800g, cooked, without bones and shredded
2 tablesp raisins
¼ teasp ground black pepper
Pinch of saffron filaments
½ cup almonds or 75g, peeled and toasted
2 tablespoons ghee
¾ cup vermicelli or 75g
2 cups rice or 400g, washed
2 cubes Chicken Bouillon
1½ teasp arabic mixed spicess
4 cups water or 1000 ml


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine minced lamb, onion and parsley, season with salt and pepper.
  2. Form meat mixture into small balls, place in a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 200c for 10 minutes or until meat balls are cooked. Remove and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, deep fry potato and carrot in the hot oil (reserve 2 tablespoons of oil) and set them aside over a kitchen tissue to absorb any excess oil.
  4. In a medium saucepan, heat the reserved oil and sauté onion until its tender then add green peas, shredded chicken meat, raisins, black pepper powder, saffron leaves, almonds, the prepared meat balls potato and carrot. Stir until well combined and set aside (add salt to your taste).
  5. In a medium pot, melt the ghee, add the vermicelli and stir until vermicelli is changed in color to golden brown; Add rice, Chicken Bouillon cubes and spices (add salt if needed).
  6. Stir for seconds then add the water and stir constantly to boil. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked.
  7. Add the prepared meat and vegetable mixture over the rice and mix all carefully with the rice. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes then serve.

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