If you love a killer one pot meal, you've landed on the right recipe! This hashweh rice is a middle eastern one pot meal made with ground beef, vegetables and rice. Its seasoned with warm spices and just screams comfort food. What I love most about it is the fact that it uses frozen vegetables which means I always have the ingredients I need on hand. Win win!
What is Hashweh?
The word hashweh in Arabic means "filling" because it's actually made with the typical Arabic filling used for stuffed vegetable dishes like Sheikh El Mahshi, Arabic Pasta and Malfouf, but also some stuffed pastry like Sambousak and Egyptian Goulash. Some stuffed dishes use only the ground beef and onion combination and some also use rice. But the spices used are the same for many Arabic "stuffed" dishes and my all time favourite spice combination: allspice and cinnamon.
Allspice is the star of this dish in my eyes. It's a highly aromatic woody spice and contrary to what many people think, it's actually not a mixture of different spices. It's a dry unripe berry native to southern Mexico and Central America and it's used a lot in middle eastern food. Apparently it was named "allspice" because the taste is similar to the combination of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Either way, it's absolutely delicious and you can find it at most stores in the spice section. The good thing about it too is that its a sweet spice (not spicy at all) so you can go to town with how much you add (I ALWAYS sprinkle extra for good measure!). Combine it with cinnamon and we're in heaven.
Back to hashweh (went off on a tangent there due to my love of allspice). This dish would be perfect if you were actually stuffing vegetables and you had some leftover filling... but I actually make it specifically so we can have this rice. It's SO good and really easy. I typically add peas and carrots for my vegetables but you can also use those mixed vegetables that have corn and green beans too if you want.
Ingredients you'll need
Nothing too complicated and probably everything you already have. For the ground beef, I prefer to use lean but you can use regular as well (it'll just have more fat). And the rice I use is white basmati rice because it's the easiest rice to cook in my opinion and handles moisture very well. You will also need frozen vegetables like peas and carrots. Also not pictured, but you'll also need some vegetable oil. Finally, you'll need some almonds and raisins for garnish, which totally takes this dish up a notch!
How to make Hashweh Rice
As promised, it's quite simple and comes together in one pot. Here's what you need to do:
- Start by finely dicing the onions. This is probably the hardest part so just get it done!
- In a non-stick pot, add the onions with the vegetable and cook until softened, about 5 minutes
- Add the ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook it for 7-10 minutes until browned and all the juices it releases dry up
- Add the frozen vegetables and all the spices. Mix well to combine and continue to cook until all the moisture is gone
- Wash the rice very well several times until the water runs clear and drain it well
- Add it to the pot along with the rice and mix well. Allow it to start bubbling on medium high heat, which should only take a few minutes
- As soon as it starts to bubble, cover it and set the heat to low. Leave it undisturbed for 10 minutes
- If you're using the garnish, toast the almonds with ½ tablespoon of oil, stirring constantly until golden. Then add in the raisins to warm them through
- Fluff the rice with a fork and serve with the garnish on top. Enjoy!
FAQs and Expert Tips
Let's talk about a few key things that can make sure this recipe is a success for you!
- Make sure you wash your rice very well several times until the water runs clear. This process gets rid of any excess starch in the rice, which is what makes rice clump and become sticky
- Before adding the rice to the pot, make sure the meat and vegetable mixture is as dry as possible. We don't want to introduce more moisture from the vegetables and meat because that will mess with the rice to water ratio and may lead to overcooked and clumpy rice. So try your best to dry it up on the stove!
- Ensure you're using a pot with a secure lid, and if you need to, add a towel on top when you cook the rice covered. For the rice to come out really fluffy, we want to trap all the steam inside the pot, and if your pot is letting some steam escape, then it may result in undercooked rice
Troubleshooting your rice
Now I know cooking rice can be tricky for a lot of people, and especially when we throw in meat and vegetables. There are several things that may cause your rice to come out either under or overcooked (see FAQs and Expert Tips section above). However, don't fret! There's a way to fix it.
- Undercooked rice: if you open your pot lid after the cooking time is complete and find that your rice grains are still hard, that means there was not enough moisture and/or a lot of steam escaped during the cooking process. All you have to do is spray the rice with about ½ cup of water, cover it, and let it steam for a further 10 minutes on low heat. Check back and it should be much better.
- Overcooked rice: Okay - there's not much I can help you with on that one! You'll just need to remember the steps you made to adjust for next time.
- Under-seasoned rice: there's nothing I hate more than under-seasoned rice. It's just not good. That's why I make sure to give you exact measurements so you don't run into this problem. But if for whatever reason you're here (ahem - did you use measuring spoons?), add some salt with ¼ cup boiling water, stir to dissolve it, and pour it over your rice. Mix gently and cover it to let it steam further for 5 minutes.
How to serve Hashweh Rice
This Hashweh rice is kind of a complete meal because you have protein, vegetable and carbs. I usually serve it with a side salad like fattoush, jajik (cucumber yogurt salad) or just plain yogurt. Keep it simple!
More Middle Eastern rice dishes you'll enjoy
Hashweh Rice (Arabic Keema Rice with ground beef)
- 650 g lean ground beef
- 2 small onions finely diced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 cups frozen peas and carrots
- 3 teaspoons allspice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3.5 teaspoons salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper more per preference
- 3 cups white basmati rice
- 4.5 cups water
- ½ cup slivered almonds for garnish optional
- ¼ cup raisins for garnish optional
- ¼ cup parsley for garnish optional
- Start by dicing the onions finely
- To a non-stick pan (preferably), add the vegetable oil and the onions and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes until onions are softened slightly
- Add the ground beef and break it down using a wooden spoon. Cook it on medium heat for 7-10 minutes until browned and the juices it released start to dry up
- Add all the spices along with the frozen vegetables. Stir to combine and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes until the mixture looks dry and not much moisture is left
- Wash the basmati rice several times until the water runs clear and drain it well
- Add the rice to the pot along with the water. Mix well to combine and ensure the water covers all of the rice mixture completely
- Turn the heat to medium high and allow the mixture to start bubbling - this should take only a few minutes. As soon as it starts to bubble, cover immediately and decrease the heat to low
- Leave the rice to cook undisturbed for 20 minutes
- Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a pan with ½ tablespoon of oil until golden brown. Once they're done, add the raisins in there to warm them through. Chop your parsley if using.
- After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the pot covered for a further 10 minutes
- Open the pot and fluff the rice with a fork then serve with the garnish on top
- Recipe makes a big batch and you can halve it if required
- Measurements are exact for white basmati rice. You can try other types of rice such as brown rice but must use more water and double the cooking time
- It's important that once you cover the rice and set the heat to low, you don't uncover it for 20 minutes! The steam needs to stay inside the pot to properly cook the rice