It’s been long since I have posted an Emirati recipe on the blog, so when the theme of “One Bowl Dishes” was declared for the Blogging Marathon #102, I couldn’t think of any other dish as one-pot as Arseeyah. The cooking is done in one large pot, so what more for this theme! 🙂
Arseeyah is considered to be comfort food for the Emiratis. It is usually made with chicken, and has rice cooked along with it, with some mild spices and then ground to make it like a gruel. Just like Harees, it is eaten warm with a generous drizzling of ghee. When I landed up with some fresh huge prawns during Ramadan, I decided to make this as dinner for the folks. The inspiration to make this dish came from an article that I had printed out and kept in my archives, but can’t trace the link any longer. 🙁 I can’t have prawns due to allergies, so I just had a spoonful to taste.
Arseeyah is usually cooked with calrose or arborio, which are small grained rice but you can use regular basmati to make these. The only problem with the short grained rice is that they take so much time to cook and soak up so much liquid, that they can literally drive you mad. They multiply much more than basmati as well so you have enough to eat on hand, and maybe leftovers! The quantity I cook below was eaten by more than 8 people, because it was a lot. The fresh prawns added a lovely dimension to the arseeyah and made it taste and smell amazing as well. It thickens as it sits, so try to serve it as hot as possible, or if it takes time, then loosen it up by adding hot water in small quantities and whisking it well. Off to the recipe…
- 250 gm cleaned prawns, washed and drained
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 250 gm calrose rice, soaked for 30 minutes, washed and drained
- 6 cups water (add more if needed)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder
- 125 gm pack thick cream
- Ghee for serving
- Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the cleaned prawns and saute till it turns pinkish and releases its stock.
- Add the drained rice and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add the water, salt, pepper and cardamom and bring the mixture to boil. Keep on simmer and cook, while stirring occasionally till the rice is well done, sticky and has absorbed all the moisture.
- Switch off the flame, add the cream and blend the mixture with a hand blender till smooth.
- Serve hot topped with melted ghee.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page to see what the other Blogging Marathoners are doing this BM#102.