Looking for an easy midweek rice dish that your whole family will enjoy? Or would you like to spice things up by serving flavored rice instead of plain white rice? Either way, you’ll love Hashweh! Hashweh rice is an all-time favorite in Middle Eastern cuisine. It consists of white rice with ground meat, peas, carrots, and a few warm seasonings, all cooked together in one pot.
Let me show you how to make traditional Middle Eastern Hashweh rice with this step-by-step recipe.
What is Hashweh?
Hashweh rice is a traditional Middle Eastern rice dish that you’ll find all over the Middle East, from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria to Egypt. What’s interesting to know is that the word “hashweh” translates to “stuffing” or “filling” in Arabic. That’s because rice and ground meat is the most popular mixture used for stuffing. And if there’s one thing that you should know about Arab cooking, it is that Arabs LOVE stuffing vegetables.
Besides stuffing, Hashweh rice is served as an alternative to plain white rice or butter rice. It’s a popular side dish on special occasions, from weddings, holidays, or when hosting a large number of guests. Last but not least, Hashweh makes a wonderful comfort food. Serve this one-pot rice dish with some yogurt and salad as a side, and you’ve got a very delicious and easy midweek dish that everyone will love.
Whether as a main dish or side, the ingredients and the steps to make Hashweh rice remain the same. To make Hashweh rice, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Basmati rice: Basmati rice is the preferred type of rice for many Middle Eastern rice dishes. You could also use Jasmine rice or another type of long grain rice if you don’t have Basmati rice available.
- Ground meat: Hashweh rice is traditionally prepared with ground meat (minced meat). Ground beef is the preferred choice. Most people use lean ground beef. If you don’t like ground beef, you can substitute it with ground lamb.
- Onion: Yellow medium-size onion.
- Carrots and peas: Carrots and peas make a wonderful addition to this dish. Because peas have a long cooking time, most people will use frozen peas. As for the carrots, you can use a mix of frozen peas and carrots, or use fresh carrots (finely dice and cook them with the rice). Either is fine.
- Seasonings: Baharat (Middle Eastern spice blend), salt and pepper are all you need. Don’t have Baharat? You can simply make your own from a few ground spices (see my Baharat recipe).
- Olive oil: A little olive oil is required to sauté the onion.
Note: Quantities can be found in the recipe card at the end of this recipe and can be adjusted according to the amount of servings you’d like to make.
How to Make Hashweh Rice
Ready to make hashweh rice? Yallah, let’s get started!
Step 1: Wash the rice
Start by washing the rice. Place it in a bowl, add water, wash and drain the water. Repeat this process three times until the water runs clear. Drain well and set aside. Washing the rice is an important step to get rid of the extra starch and to make your rice fluffy.
Step 2: Prepare the vegetables
Next, prepare the vegetables. Dice the onion. If using fresh carrots, finely dice (peeled or unpeeled). Set aside. As mentioned above, you can use fresh carrots or frozen carrots (often sold in combination with frozen peas).
Step 3: Heat olive oil
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the diced onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
Step 4: Add meat and spices
Add the ground meat and the seasonings (Baharat, salt and pepper) to the saucepan and stir well. During the cooking process, break down the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon. There should be no large chunks remaining. Fry for about 6-7 minutes until the meat is browned.
Step 5: Add peas and carrots
Next, add the finely diced carrots and frozen peas to the saucepan. Stir well and fry for another 3-4 minutes.
Step 6: Add the rice
Add the washed rice to the saucepan (no water yet!). Fry for 1-2 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
Step 7: Add water
Add water to the saucepan. Be sure to add hot water from the tab to bring it to a boil faster. Bring to a boil on medium to high heat.
Step 8: Simmer
Once the water is boiling, reduce the stove to low, add the lid and simmer for 12-14 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked.
Step 9: Toast the nuts
Remove the saucepan from the stove and let it sit for another 5-10 minutes with the lid on. Meanwhile, toast some almond slivers and/or pine nuts in a small pan (2-3 minutes) until slightly golden. You don’t need to add any oil to the pan for this.
Step 10: Garnish and Serve
Finally, garnish the Hashweh rice with the toasted nuts and some finely chopped parsley if desired. Serve hot with yogurt or yogurt sauce, a salad and any Middle Eastern main dish of your choice.
What to Serve with Hashweh?
Hashweh can be eaten on its own, with plain yogurt or a Middle Eastern yogurt sauce and an easy chopped salad. It pairs well with grilled chicken dishes.
Hashweh rice is the perfect midweek meal. It’s a comfort food that cooks in one-pot and that the whole family will enjoy. Nevertheless, this flavored rice makes a wonderful alternative to white rice when having guests. Depending on the dishes that you’re making, you can use Hashweh rice as a substitute for butter rice (or serve it alongside).
Looking for a vegetarian alternative to Hashweh to serve as a side dish? Check out my recipe for Arabic rice with raisins and nuts.
Make Ahead & Storage
Hashweh rice can be perfectly prepared in large amounts. You can make it ahead of time to consume over several days (as a main dish or side).
Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Any Questions or Feedback?
If you liked this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you could leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. In case you’ve any questions or feedback, please leave me a comment (down the page). I’m happy to help you make delicious Middle Eastern food at home.
Hashweh (Rice and Ground Beef)
- 400 g (2 cups) Basmati rice
- 500 g (1.1 lb) ground beef or lamb
- 1 onion medium, yellow
- 2 (3/4 cups) carrots fresh or frozen carrots
- 80 g (3/4 cups) frozen peas
- 1 tsp Seven Spice blend see notes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 475 ml (2 cups) water to cook the rice (extra for washing it)
- Wash the rice three times until the water runs clear. Drain well. Set aside.
- Dice the onion. Finely dice the carrots (unpeeled or peeled). Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the diced onion. Fry for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
- Add the ground meat and the spices to the saucepan. Stir well. Fry for about 6-7 minutes until all the meat is well browned. During the cooking process, break down the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
- Add the diced carrots and frozen peas to the meat. Stir well. Fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the washed rice to the saucepan (no water yet!). Fry for 1-2 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
- Add hot water to the saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce the stove to low. Add the lid. Simmer for 12-14 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the rice fully cooked.
- Remove from the stove. Let sit for another 5-10 minutes (lid on). Meanwhile, toast almond slivers and pine nuts (no oil required) in a small pan (2-3 minutes) until slightly golden.
- Garnish the rice with the toasted nuts and some finely chopped parsley (optional). Serve hot with yogurt, a salad and any Middle Eastern main dish of your choice.
- Seven Spice (also called Baharat) is a signature Middle Eastern spice blend. Made from a few staple spices, Seven Spice is a popular seasoning to flavor rice dishes, meat and fish. Don’t have Seven Spice at home? You can make your own spice blend at home, either from whole spices (roast and grind, will give you the best taste) or simply by mixing a few ground spices. Check out both methods and the exact ingredients and directions in my Seven Spice recipe.
Nutrition information is only a rough estimate and may vary depending on factors such as the cooking method, exact weight, type, and brand of ingredients used.