FOR THE RICE:
4 cups Basmati rice
½ cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole green cardamom pods
10 whole cloves
2 teaspoons xawaash spice mix (see
8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon saffron threads, finely
1 cup raisins
FOR THE XAWAASH (SOMALI SPICE
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons dried whole sage
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger
8 green cardamom pods
10 whole cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
⅓ cinnamon stick
Soak rice in cold water 30 to 45 minutes, then drain.
Meanwhile, prepare the xawaash: Combine all the spices in a spice
grinder and finely grind. Set aside.
Prepare the topping: Heat olive oil in a wide, deep pot over mediumhigh
heat and add the onions, stirring occasionally until translucent.
Add raisins and allow to soften, about 2 minutes, then add red bell
pepper and cook until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt
and set aside on a paper towel.
In the same pot, make the rice: Heat 1/2 cup oil. Add onions and sauté,
stirring frequently, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic,
cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves and xawaash and cook, stirring, 1
Stir in stock and rice. Bring to boil, then cover and cook on low heat 20
minutes. Stir in saffron and raisins and season to taste with salt.
Cover, turn off heat and steam for 5 more minutes. Transfer to a
serving platter, using a large spoon to pile rice in a heap onto a platter.
Sprinkle topping over rice and serve.