I was ready with the Samak Koufta and Shorbat Adas well before in time, however this dish had to wait till the start of Ramadan to be made. Arseeyah is considered to be one of the Emirate’s comfort food. What is not comfort in it? Rice, chicken and some simple spices amalgamate into a wonderful dish, so very close to Harees. During my casual browsing, I landed up on this blog and it was love at first sight. It was one of the few blogs on the world wide web which had some Emirati recipes. I wish she would have continued blogging since the blog hasn’t been updated since Ramadan 2013. 🙁 Anyway, it is a treasure trove of a lot of simple recipes and I have almost bookmarked the entire blog to try! 😀 The one recipe that did pique my interest instantly was this dish. I did go googling for more options but all recipes were a copy-paste of her recipe.
I have never heard of Arseeyah before. The blogger does say that she was introduced to it during one of the Sharjah Heritage Festivals. This festival happens every April for three weeks and I ensure to go there every year at least once without fail, but so far I have never come across this dish. Maybe I have to be looking around more widely instead of only concentrating on my favorites – read lqeimat, biriyani and harees. InShaAllah, next time I should, till then I decided I must make it at home and try. Alhamdulilah, as quick as it is, it tasted amazing. If you are craving for harees but have run out of wheat, then this is the thing to try! I have used Calrose rice as suggested in the recipe, but you can use basmati rice as well. She does suggest to add some tinned cream at the end while blitzing, but I decided to give that step a miss since I didn’t need too much of richness! 😉 You can add half a tin for the below quantity if interested.
As an end note, a big thank you to darling Fami for giving me some insight on Calrose before I cooked with it. She did warn me not to pressure cook it, since it cooks fast and can turn messy in the process. Keeping it in mind, I stood next to the cooker and switched it off immediately once the first whistle came out. So thankfully, I didn’t have much of a mess to clean. 😀 Just tells you how important it is to consult with your more-knowledgeable friends while trying new dishes… 🙂 I was trying to catch the fleeting sunshine close to Maghrib time so the clicks are a tad bit dull, nevertheless… 😉
Arseeyah ~ Emirati Rice Chicken Gruel
- 500 gm chicken with bones
- 1 litre water
- 1 small bark cinnamon
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup calrose rice washed and drained
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 heaped tbsp ghee
- Boil the chicken in the water, with the cinnamon and salt till it gets well cooked and falls off the bone. I simply pressure cooked the chicken for six to eight whistles on high flame and allowed the pressure to go off.
- Drain out the chicken off the stock and discard the scum.
- Remove the chicken from its bone and cut it into pieces. Discard the bones.
- Add the rice along with the cardamom and pepper powders into the chicken stock and bring it to a boil.
- Add the chicken and cook till the rice gets well cooked. Keep stirring it to avoid sticking it to the bottom of the pan. I did pressure cook the rice but only for one whistle and allowed the pressure to go by itself.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture till smooth - I did leave a bit of bites.
- Transfer the hot mixture into a hot pot and top with the ghee. Keep warm till use.