50 Shades of Your Mama’s Rice

Yes, we know how that sounds, but seriously, your mama’s rice is possibly the best thing you will ever eat. And if you don’t appreciate it now, that’s probably because you’re still too young to understand the utter beauty that is mama’s rice. For one thing, it’s the perfect base for every. Single. Mama’s dish! Have you ever considered that? Rice is to molokheya what Abdel Salam El Nabulsi to Ismail Yassin. Rice is the sidekick that makes the main actor look better. Here are 50 Shades of your mama’s rice that we’re positive you know and love.

white rice

Plain White Rice

Classic Egyptian deliciousness. You don’t need to add much to this type of rice, just a little salt will do. Cooking it is extremely easy as well, simply fry it up in half a tablespoon of butter and cover with water and wait for it to cook. It’s delicious, buttery and fluffy! This works best with molokheya, of course. For the perfect course, have those two alongside chicken boiled then fried in butter. Yum!


Bel she3ireya

Rice with Shairiya (noodles)

Yes, it’s rice with pasta, but it’s so good. The trick here is to fry the noodles before you add the rice, giving them that extra crisp before they’re cooked makes all the difference in the world. Once that is done, add the rice and water and cook as you normally woulld. Rice with shairiya is best paired with “tabeekh”; peas ad carrots, black eyed peas and okra are all great candidates.


wa7da w wa7da

Rice Wahda wa Wahda

The rice that confused us all as children, how do you manage to make half of it darker than the other half? Well, the answer is as delicious as it is simple. You fry one half of your rice batch first, then add the rest of it and let it cook. The fried, buttery taste of this type of rice is pure perfection.



Rice bel Khalta

When your mama makes rice bel khalta, you know she’s bringing out the big guns. All Egyptian women claim that their rice bel khalta is the best in Egypt. We still are unsure what these women’s hypotheses are based on. The secret to the most perfect khalta rice isn’t just in the khalta, which is usually made of liver, kidneys and hearts, fried with onions with lots of salt and pepper then topped with nuts and raisins, it is also in the caramel. Yes, caramel! Before you put the rice in the pan you must caramelize some sugar. Then dilute it with water, and in this water, you cook your rice in order to get that delicious sweet/savory taste.



Rice Me3ammar

Full of butter, milk and cream, this rice is just mean to your heart and arteries, but who can resist it? It’s one of the most delicious, creamiest versions of Egyptian rice. Made in clay pots, it always comes out tasting authentic. Some people make it with liver, others just make it with plain rice, but everyone makes it with lots of cream. Cover the raw rice with milk and maybe a few tablespoons of cream. Add salt and pepper to taste, then cover with tinfoil and slide into the oven. It is then baked to perfection. Its best friend is fried duck. Deliver our apologies to your arteries.



Rice Bel Basal

Fried onions make up a huge part of our culinary heritage. And this specific kind of rice is a local favorite. If you’re making seafood, you’re bound to have rice bel basal. Add a little curcuma, salt and pepper to chopped onion and let it fry. Then add the rice once the onion is brown. Add water and let it cook! This is best served with seafood.



Rice Bel Tamatem

Another seafood-side-rice, this one is less spice and more veggie. Made with tomato juice, this rice ends up a pretty pink color. Put a couple of tomatoes in the blender with two cloves of garlic. Use the tomato juice instead of water to cook your rice. Try adding some coriander leaves to this rice and have it with grilled fish, you will not regret it.



Rice El Mahshy

Okay, so not everyone eats this sans the mahshy itself, but we’ve all tried to at least once. It differs depending on what type of mahshy you’re having (rice used to stuff cabbage, for example, always has dill in it, while rice used to stuff vine leaves has mint in it), but they are all equally delicious and all have the same main ingredients: rice, tomatoes and onions. Use different herbs for different types of mahshy!



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