Jordanian Tomato Rice Soup… & a failure story!

I joined MENA Cooking Club last month and this was what I had done last month. This month, our host is Everlyn, who blogs at Cheap Ethnic Eatz and the country was Jordan. We were given a list of three dishes – started, savory and sweet. My eyes fell on the choice for the sweet – my favorite, Kunafeh/ Kunafa. Kunafa is a crispy layer of vermicelli with a soft bottom layer of cheese, soaked in sugary syrup. Doesn’t it sound sinful? Yes, so full of calories but believe me, once you have it, you crave for it again and again! When I was carrying Rasha, we would go at least once a week to walk around the Global Village, which used to be free during that time. Each time we go, I would stand next to the cart selling kunafe and prompt HD. He would first ignore me but then I would keep hinting and hinting. Finally, he would buy it for me warning me that this would be the last time. He did this for three times and finally he stopped buying it for me, once the doctor hinted that I had a minor case of diabetes. Would you want to know what happened to the Kunafeh attempt? Well, I keep that for the end of the recipe… 🙂


Since the Kunafeh was a dud, I felt a bit low. What do I do? Do I post or not? I simply browsed the list again and I found a savior in the form of this soup. The Jordanian style Tomato Rice Soup was perfect for the cold nights that we are having at the moment. I paired it up with a salad and we enjoyed it as a light dinner. Off to the way I made it… Recipe adapted from here


Verdict – this soup tastes like our traditional kanji (rice porridge) flavored with tomato and spices! The smell of the soup was amazing, thanks to the cinnamon that was constantly boiling.



OK, coming to the story I promised…. Time and again, it proves that everybody has their bad times! This was my second mediocre attempt that week. I had made the fruit and nut custard for a big gathering of 60 people successfully, however when I made it for a gang of 35, the custard became too flowy and just didn’t thicken while cooling. However, it was finished and everybody gave me a thumbs-up but I knew at the back of my mind that it was not a good attempt. The same week, this attempt at making Kunafeh went wrong…


Even though I was not very confident, I still went ahead to make it. I bought the kunafa pastry, a box of feta cheese and mozarella cheese to make this. I referred to this recipe and went ahead making it in a 24 cm springfoam pan. I made it and it looked more like a cake rather than a thin dessert. I poured the sugar syrup as per the recipe, cut the “cake” kunafeh and kept it in my mouth and yikes!!! It was awfully salty, so salty that I couldn’t keep another spoonful into my mouth. I was totally worried about what to do about it. I knew what went wrong – I forgot to soak the feta! Not only that, the sugar syrup mentioned in the recipe was just not enough for giving the required sweetness to the kunafe.


The next day, I bifurcated everything, separated the pastry strings and the cheese and soaked the cheese for a few hours. Then I drained the cheese through a strainer. It was touch getting it back to a solid stage but still somehow managed.  This time I used a pie pan and made it. I didn’t have orange color, so mixed up a pinch of turmeric with the ghee/ clarified butter while layering it. Baked it again and got what you see in the above picture. This time I referred to this link. I used 2 cups of sugar syrup and it was just mildly sweet. Unfortunately, I got a soggy kunafeh top however, it tasted much better, though looked nothing close to a commercial kunafe. HD thought it was OK for a first attempt and carried it to his friends, who finished it off. Such a relief, I didn’t have to trash it.



So till I gather courage to make it again, let me enjoy myself by paying and buying crisp kunafeh and not go through this heart attack again… hehe…

An InLinkz Link-up



Jordanian Tomato Rice Soup

Course Soup
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rafeeda


  • 25 gm butter
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 1 large tomato peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp tomato paste
  • A small pc cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp rice soaked for 30 minutes and drained


  • Heat butter and saute the onion till soft.
  • Now add the tomato, paste, cinnamon, salt and pepper along with 1 litre of water. Keep on high flame till the water boils, then keep it on simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Now add the rice and stir well. Cook for a further 25-30 minutes on simmer till the rice gets cooked and mashed. Add some water if the soup gets too thick. Adjust on the salt and pepper.
  • Serve warm and relish!

Join the Conversation

  1. It looks delicious. Yummy. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Ritu… 🙂

  2. Kunafa is my fav too. I can have just that for dinner and that was my only savior when I came to yanbu and Kitchen was not ready. I did not like the local food as it used to be so bland. F got me Kunafah and I fell in love with it instantly. I so badly want to give it a try but havent had the courage yet. Reading your attempt…. hmmm.. let me enjoy the store bought for some more time.. hehehe.. About the soup… actually I did not read it yet.. 😛

    1. Haha Famidha… loved reading your long comment… thanks a lot dear…

  3. Mash Allah, Kunafeh still looks good. Hats off to you Rafeeda.

    1. JazakAllah Khair Rashida….

    1. Thanks a lot Jyothi…

  4. The soup is new to me, looks delish!

    1. Thank you so much Beulah…

  5. I don't know what is kunafa but it looks tempting. Now the soup – a nice comfort tuck for a cold weather. I love such a dish but my other half will run far away if I made for our meal. So the recipe is best kept aside when he travel so that I can seek comfort in it.

    1. Thank you so much Nava… kunafa is infact really tempting…

  6. Both dishes look lovely, i've tried some commercial kunafe before and wasn't much of a fan BUT i'm sure it was the brand i tried that was bad. keep trying ukhti and no doubt when you make it the way you like it will bring you immense joy!

    1. Definitely wish to try kunafeh some other time once I gain confidence to make it… thank you so much Umm Hamza…

  7. it can be a meal too…I would like to call it as soup cum meal

    1. Yes, it is literally like one! Thanks a lot Amrita…

  8. I love kunafa and yours looks fine, I would have loved to taste it. The soup look delicious as well. We're so glad to have you in our little club.

    1. Thank you so much Noor… love being a part of this fantastic group as well…

  9. Yummy rice soup .I never imagine cooking for 35 people ..Wonderful rafee

    1. Thank you so much Sathya… it is actually a nerve wrecking experience… hehe…

  10. Your soup looks yummy! And thanks for sharing your kitchen trials and tribulations – it's so disappointing when something doesn't turn out the way you want (I messed up my Iranian dish so ended up not participating that month!) but it's nice to know it happens to everyone.

    1. Goof ups do happen to all of us, so it's fine… thank you so much for coming by…

  11. delicious looking dishes ,i'm sure they taste great too!!

    1. Thank you so much Madiha…

  12. the one sweet that i miss here is kunafe, just love it…

    1. Thank you so much Razina…

  13. Hi Rafee, kunafa is our favourite too. We had made it as our 100th post, and it had come out perfectly well. We used ricotta cheese instead of feta cheese.
    Try that way, it tasted just as the ones u get in the Arab sweet shops here.This Jordanian soup is perfect for the climate now..warm and welcoming soup.

    1. I had checked out your link as well before making it, but since I had already bought the feta, I had to proceed with it… next time will work it out using your way… thanks a lot dearies….

  14. Both looking Delicious! Yum!

    1. Thanks a lot Sadaf….

  15. lovely delicious looking soup. It is frustrating when recipes do not turn out. Just day before a recipe I tried out failed completely. I hate it when I have to throw it away.

    1. Thank you so much Mayuri…

  16. Love how your soup turned out, lovely with a touch of cinnamon. Sorry your kunafa was not what your expected bit I would devour it. Thanks for participating!

    1. Thank you so much Evelyn for the lovely choices…

  17. perfect soup for the weather,comforting one..the other day I saw this kunafa recipe when searching for desserts,and saw the same site as you referred dear but then postponed making as I haven't tasted the original with your notes I think can be attempted later this year 🙂

    1. It is definitely a good try dear… kunafeh is something that you will love for sure… thanks a lot dear… 🙂

  18. Beautiful clicks, looks really delicious.

    1. Thanks a lot Asiya…

  19. Interesting soup recipe.. Looks tasty and comforting..

    1. Thank you so much Sona…

  20. Ive heard so much about kunafa hope i taste it soon sometime 🙂 Insha Allah, the soup looks just perfect for winters!! take care

    1. Thank you so much Aara… 🙂

  21. lovely recipe dear 🙂 oh while reading your post i totally agree that everybody has their bad times 🙂 in fact it is too difficult to handle a gang of guests 😀 but mashallah you really rocks dear <3 i am so impressed with your blogging and recipes sweet heart

    1. Thank you so much dear, JazakAllah Khairan Monu… 🙂

  22. Yummy soup recipe perfect for this winter 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Remya… 🙂

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