This dish has become a family tradition that we all look forward to, and I’m excited to share it with you. The combination of perfectly cooked rice, ground lamb, spices, and toasted nuts makes for a flavorful and comforting meal that is sure to please.
Lebanese Hashweh Rice, a dish popular across the Middle East, holds a special place in the hearts of many families, including mine. As a child, my mother would make this Lebanese Hashweh recipe on special occasions, spread it on a large platter, topped with either chicken or lamb and then cover it with toasted pine nuts and almonds. Today, I still prepare it as my mother did, and it never fails to transport me back to my childhood.
This delicious Lebanese rice recipe perfectly accompanies a simple Arabic salad or yogurt salad or is served alongside other dishes like roasted chicken or lamb chops and roasted vegetables. Its unique blend of spices and textures makes it an exceptional and flavorful addition to any meal. Due to the delicious flavor and nostalgia this dish brings me, it has become one of my favorite Hashweh recipes. Read more below about this authentic Hashweh recipe. I sincerely hope you enjoy it!
What is Lebanese Hashweh rice?
Hashweh rice is a beloved Middle Eastern dish rooted in the tradition of stuffing. “Hashweh” means stuffing, and it involves mixing ground lamb with separately cooked rice generously seasoned with aromatic spices, including cinnamon. The exact spice blend may vary by region or country, and in some versions, sweet peas or other vegetables may be added.
Once the lamb and rice are perfectly cooked and seasoned, this flavorful mixture serves as a delicious stuffing for chicken or lamb, akin to my Cornish hen recipe. However, it’s also delightful as a stand-alone side dish, where the spiced rice takes center stage. Enjoy the rich flavors and aromatic spices in every bite.
Ingredients Need to Make for Lebanese Rice:
- Long-Grain White Rice: Long-grain white rice is the ideal choice, as it cooks up fluffy and separate, providing the perfect canvas for flavorful spices and seasonings. It’s important to note that one cup of uncooked long-grain white rice typically yields about three cups of cooked rice, making it an excellent option for serving a gathering of family and friends.
- Olive Oil and Ghee: The combination of olive oil and ghee adds a rich, buttery undertone and a silky texture to the rice, enhancing its overall taste.
- Chopped Onion: Onions offer a sweet and savory base, infusing the rice with a delightful depth of flavor.
- Ground Lamb or Beef (or a Combination): The choice of protein brings a hearty and meaty essence, creating a satisfying and wholesome dish.
- Seven Middle Eastern Spices (Baharat): Baharat, a blend of aromatic spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, and more, imparts a warm and earthy flavor profile to the rice.
- Cinnamon and Nutmeg: These spices contribute to the dish’s warm and slightly sweet notes, enhancing its Middle Eastern character.
- Hewaja (Optional): While optional, hewaja adds a unique depth of flavor, bringing your dish closer to the cherished specialty of many Lebanese kitchens.
- Salt: Salt balances the flavors, ensuring a harmonious taste in every bite.
- Chicken Broth or Water: Whether you opt for chicken broth or water, this liquid element infuses the rice with moisture and savory goodness.
- Toasted Pine Nuts and Almonds: The nutty crunch of toasted pine nuts and almonds adds a delightful contrast in texture and a nutty richness to the dish.
- Chopped Parsley: Fresh parsley brightens the dish with a burst of herbaceous freshness, enhancing its overall presentation and taste.
What is the ratio of rice to meat?
The rice-to-meat ratio in hashweh rice can vary depending on personal preference. Some people prefer a higher proportion of meat to rice, while others prefer more rice than meat. I like to use one and a half cups of rice for each pound of meat. I enjoy the flavor and texture of the meat in the dish. This ratio typically serves about six people, but you can adjust the measurements to suit your needs. While I prefer a combination of ground lamb and beef in my hashweh rice, you can use any meat you choose. Experiment with different meats to find the flavor profile that suits your taste buds.
What to serve with Hashweh Lebanese rice?
Several delicious dishes can be served alongside hashweh rice. You can enjoy this flavorful rice dish alone or pair it with various Middle Eastern salads such as cucumber yogurt salad, fattoush salad, or tabbouleh. In addition, you can also serve this Hashweh rice recipe alongside main dishes like roasted chicken, lamb shanks, or kofta. It’s a versatile dish that pairs well with various proteins and vegetables—making it an excellent choice for a family meal or dinner party. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to pairing hashweh rice with other dishes. If you want to try out some of our other rice dishes, I recommend checking out our Rice vermicelli recipe, Yemeni rice, Greek lemon rice, and herb risotto. Each dish has its unique flavor, so it depends on what you’re in the mood for. Give them a try; they’re all delicious!
Variations of Hashweh Lebanese rice?
While the traditional Hashweh rice Lebanese style includes ground meat and aromatic spices, endless variations can suit different preferences and flavor profiles. For example, you can make a vegan dish by omitting the meat and adding garbanzo beans, chopped tomatoes, and fresh herbs for added flavor.
Other variations can include adding vegetables like carrots and peas to the dish in addition to the meat. You can also experiment with different types of mushrooms and fresh herbs like cilantro to add depth and complexity to the dish. You can tailor hashweh rice to your taste preferences, which is one of its great features. With creativity and imagination, you can make various delicious variations that will satisfy your taste buds.
Tell Me How I’m Doing?
Have you made this Lebanese Hashweh Rice? What kind of spices did you use?? I love to hear from you; please leave a comment below.