For more photos and recipe notes, visit Cardamom and Tea. Riza sh'ariyeh is the foundation of most Assyrian meals. It's steamed basmati rice and toasted noodles, usually topped with butter-fried nuts and golden raisins. The raisins become succulent and caramelized while they baste in butter and everything else gets a golden toasted flavor and color. —Kathryn Pauline
basmati rice (or other long-grain rice)
3 1/4 cups
fine egg noodles *
butter, divided (1/2 stick set aside for the rice, the other 1/2 stick cut into thirds); can substitute olive oil
Use a fine mesh colander to rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear and is no longer cloudy.
After you've rinsed and drained the rice, add it to a large sauce pan or small stockpot along with the 3 1/4 cups of cold water, the 1/2 stick of butter, and the salt. Set the stockpot aside.
In a frying pan, melt the first of the three chunks of butter over low heat. Add the egg noodles and stir constantly until they turn light brown.
Once the egg noodles have toasted, add them to the rice, water, butter and salt in the stockpot. Turn the stockpot's heat up to high. As soon as the rice comes to a boil, set the heat to low, cover, and cook for 14 minutes.
Add another chunk of butter to the frying pan and melt it over low heat. Add the raisins, stirring constantly until they start to slightly caramelize and soften. Once they're done, remove them with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Add the final chunk of butter to the frying pan with the almonds and pine nuts. Stir them constantly over low heat until they are golden-brown. Remove them with a slotted spoon and add them to the plate with the raisins.
Once the rice timer goes off, do not lift the cover. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
After the rice has rested, fluff it with a fork, spoon it onto a large serving dish, and cover with the almonds, raisins, and pine nuts.
* If you don't eat gluten or want to make the recipe egg-free, you can use a gluten- and/or egg-free pasta. Thinner pasta works better; angel hair/spaghetti broken into pieces or orzo would work great. Add an extra 1/4 c of water if you're using a less voluminous pasta, since egg noodles have a tendency to nest instead of packing together).