Cambuulo iyo Maraq (Rice with Adzuki Beans in a Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Cambuulo (ambulo) is a famous Somali dish usually served with sesame oil and a drizzle of sugar. It can be a mix of rice and adzuki beans or any kind of beans or lentils, corn and beans or sometimes just adzuki beans. Cambuulo is usually eaten for supper.

In my household we like to eat cambuulo with a tomato sauce called maraq or dalac bilaash (which means sauce). This dish is similar to the Egyptian kushari though they add macaroni.

Cambuulo is not healthy and nutritious, but so delicious that I think you will also ask for a second helping.

Cambuulo iyo Maraq2Adzuki beans

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Cambuulo iyo Maraq (Rice with Adzuki Beans in a Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Recipe by:
Abderazzaq Noor


1 cup long grain Basmati rice
1 cup cooked adzuki beans or any kind of lentil (soak overnight and boil for about 20 minutes if using dried beans)
400g can of diced tomatoes or 6 fresh tomatoes, diced (keep aside a handful for garnish or use toasted nuts and fresh coriander)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground chilli powder or chilli flakes. You can two green chillies (diced) as a substitute.
2 cloves of garlic, minced finely
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Juice of one lemon
Salt to taste
1 cup water


1. Cover the rice with one and a half cups of water and a pinch of salt. Cover the pan and cook over low heat until the rice is done. This should take about 15 minutes.
2. Mix in the cooked adzuki beans and keep aside.

Making the tomato sauce
1. Saute the onions in the sesame oil until translucent.
2. Add in the garlic and cook for about a minute
3. Add in the diced tomato, tomato paste, cumin, coriander and chilli and cook for about five minutes. Add water to ensure the sauce doesn’t dry out. You want a thick, soupy consistency.
4. Add the white vinegar and lemon juice. Simmer over low heat for about five minutes.

To serve
1. Serve the cambuulo mixture in a bowl.
2. Generously spoon the tomato sauce over the cambuulo
3. Garnish with diced tomato. Sometimes we use fried onions as a garnish.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 people

15 Responses to “Cambuulo iyo Maraq (Rice with Adzuki Beans in a Spicy Tomato Sauce)”

  1. Tonny

    I saw many recipe for Cambuulo iyo Maraq (Rice with Adzuki Beans in a Spicy Tomato Sauce) but this one is the best. I must try it right now. Thanks for sharing

  2. Tomas

    I can’t wait to try it. Thanks so much

  3. Vanity Marks

    I definitely want to make this! I found azuki beans and had decided to make a Japanese recipe with them, but seeing this dish I think I’ve reconsidered! It will be my first Somali dish 😊 Also, please don’t see this dish short. The ingredients are absolutely healthy​ and nutritious!


    I tried your recipe it’s very tasty. And amazing I shared my friends and family

  5. Ignatius

    Hey Somali Kitchen, I am always a food lover. I love to try new recipes every time. Your recipe of Cambuulo iyo Maraq ( Rice with Adzunki Beans in a Spicy Tomato Sauce) is marvelous. I must try this and let you know my experience after trying this. Thanks Ignatius.

  6. Bobo prolo

    In the recipe you don’t mention cumin and coriander seeds alltough they are listed. When do you use them ?


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