Iraqi Beryani

Manal Al-Ani

Image: Manal Al-Ani

Beryani is a very famous and popular dish in Iraq. The majority of Iraqis prefer to make it all the time and on certain occasions like Ramadan and on Eids. It is easy to prepare, and wholesome at the same time.


  • 250 g minced lamb
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp onions, finely chopped
  • 1 c vegetable oil or 220 g, for deep frying
  • 1 medium potato or 150 g, cut into medium cubes
  • 1 medium carrot or 150 g, cut into medium cubes
  • 1 medium onion or 125 g, sliced
  • ? c frozen green peas or 80 g, thawed
  • 1 whole chicken or 800 g, cooked, without bones and shredded
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • ? tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch of saffron filaments
  • ? c almonds or 75 g, peeled and toasted
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • ? c vermicelli or 75 g
  • 2 c rice or 400 g, washed
  • 2 Maggi cubes
  • 1? tsp Arabic mixed spices
  • 4 c water or 1 Litre


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine minced lamb, onion and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Form meat mixture into small balls, then place in a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 200?C for 10 minutes or until the meat balls are cooked. Remove and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, deep fry potato and carrot in the hot oil (reserve 2 tablespoons of oil) and set them aside over a kitchen tissue to absorb any excess oil.
  4. In a medium saucepan, heat the reserved oil and saute onion until it is tender. Add green peas, shredded chicken meat, raisins, black pepper powder, saffron leaves, almonds, the prepared meat balls potato and carrot. Stir until well combined and set aside, adding salt to taste.
  5. In a medium pot, melt the ghee and add the vermicelli. Stir until vermicelli is changed in colour to golden brown.
  6. Add rice, Maggi cubes, spices and – if needed – salt. Stir for seconds then add the water and stir constantly to boil. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked.
  7. Add the prepared meat and vegetable mixture over the rice and mix it all carefully with the rice. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes, then serve.

By Manal Al-Ani

Manal is a producer and broadcaster on SBS Radio’s Arabic language program.

Categories: Food, Ramadan Cookbook

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account.Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account.Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account.Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s