Bariis Surbiyan (Spicy Rice with Caramelised Onions)

Bariis surbiyan is a beautiful looking dish when placed on the table and it is tastes great too.  I love the mix of spices and the crunchiness of caramelised onions that we use to decorate this dish.

Somalis make bariis surbiyan using various kinds of meat.  In this recipe I have not used meat, which makes it a great option for vegetarians.

Serve on a plate and garnish with the caramelised onions.  Bariis surbiyan goes well with any kind of meat or vegetable curry.

If you’ve read this far then you should keep in touch! Like The Somali Kitchen on Facebook. Add me to your Google+ circle, follow on Twitter, like on Instagram or pin on Pinterest.


Bariis Surbiyan (Spicy Rice with Caramelised Onions)

Recipe by:
Roda Mohamed Muse


2 large onions cut into thin strips
1 kg of basmati rice
3 cardamoms
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
½ jalapeno chilli, diced with the seeds removed
2 tablespoons of chopped coriander
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
Water – about three cups or enough to cover the rice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cube of Maggi or Knorr for stock (optional and don’t include if cooking for vegetarians!)


1.    Wash the rice and soak in water
2.    Fry the onions in the olive oil until brown and caramelised. Set aside.
3.    Blend or grind the cardamom, cinnamon and cumin to a fine powder
4.    Blend or grind the jalapeno chilli and coriander
5.    Cook the spices, jalapeno chilli and coriander in the remaining oil for a minute.
6.    Add the soaked rice, stock cube and add water, covering the rice three inches over.
7.    Cover the pot and simmer on medium heat until the water is reduced.
8.    Cook for a further 10 minutes on low heat or until the rice is cooked.



Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 - 10 people

4 Responses to “Bariis Surbiyan (Spicy Rice with Caramelised Onions)”

  1. plasterers bristol

    oo this sounds yummy, and something new to try. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Huda

    Oh my god!
    I have tried 4 different recipes for surbian and all have FAILED! This one is so delish!!! I’m so happy I found this recipe, it’s so much more simple then my mums but it tastes nearly as good. Hopefully as I make it more it will get better.
    Thanks so much x


Leave a Reply