Thursday, July 20, 2017

Big Pacific, Bowling,

Just saw the last episode of Big Pacific which showed how the camermen managed to get their shots. One section they were on an island littered - literally - with vipers. I wouldn't have been on that island for any money at all. Sorry to see the series end, it was very good.

Not a lot to talk about today. Although we none of us bowled that well today, our team is now in second place much to our surprise. Be nice if we could get to first place and stay there. Only got a few more games before the end of the summer season. Keeping our fingers crossed. I have certainly never been on a team that came in first so it would be a real thrill for me and for the rest of our team. So please keep your fingers crossed for us.

I always like rice dishes and this one looks good. It may be a lot of work but the spice mix can be made well ahead. I don't keep fenugreek and only ground versions of some of the pods mentioned but such things are all available these days..

Bariis Iskukaris (Somali-Style Rice)

Somali-style rice, when prepared for festive occasions, can be a satisfying meal on its own: The rice is cooked in a rich stock and often jeweled with pieces of meat and vegetables. This version of the dish comes from Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim, twin sisters who make their own xawaash, an aromatic spice mixture that is layered with fenugreek and turmeric. The finished rice is also generously seasoned with saffron, as well as softened peppers and raisins. At Thanksgiving, the rice is a versatile side with roast turkey and vegetables, and the day after, it's a great base for leftovers. You could easily use a vegetable stock in place of a meat stock for a vegetarian version, and add more
vegetables to the topping. The Mohallim sisters, on occasion, add blanched green beans to the mix.

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 tsp xawaash spice mix (see below)
8 cups chicken stock
1 tsp saffron threads, finely chopped
1 cup raisins

1 Tbs cumin seeds
1 Tbs coriander seeds
2 tsp dried whole sage
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 ¼ tsp ground ginger
8 green cardamom pods
10 whole cloves
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cinnamon stick

2 Tbs olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup raisins
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced

1. Soak rice in cold water 30 to 45 minutes, then drain.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the xawaash: Combine all the spices in a spice grinder and finely grind. Set aside.

3. Prepare the topping: Heat olive oil in a wide, deep pot over medium-high 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.

4. 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 minute.

5. 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.

Servings: 16

Source: The New York Times

Have a great day


  1. The rice sounds good. Let me know if you make it. Good luck with the bowling. I am awful at ten-pin and not sure I'd be much better with fewer pins.

    1. Fewer pins smaller balls Denise. Much easier to handle although you have to be more accurate.

  2. Good luck to your team!!!! Would you all get trophies?

    1. No these days we get cash prizes JoJo. Not sure if trophies are given for 5 pin any more or not, but not for seniors.

  3. Replies
    1. For most of the year, nothing Alex, but twice a year a particular bird landed on the island on its migration and the snakes filled up on them. The snakes climbed up twigs and kind of blended in, or waited hidden in trees.

  4. The rice would definitely make a great side dish!

    1. Or it can be made into a main meal Pinky. Have to cut it back though for most of us. You could lace it with fish.

  5. That island is a no go for me too. Good for you to be in. 2nd place!

    1. Don't like snakes either Birgit, tut tut. I just hope we can make it to first, would be nice for a change.