Skoudehkaris is a flavorful and aromatic one-pot lamb and rice dish from Djibouti, it has tender chunks of lamb cooked in a spiced tomato-based sauce and then layered with fragrant basmati rice.
- WHAT IS SKOUDEHKARIS
- WHERE DID SKOUDEHKARIS ORIGINATE FROM?
- WHAT MAKES THIS SKOUDEHKARIS RECIPE SPECIAL?
- 🥘 INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED FOR SKOUDEHKARIS
- 🔪 HOW TO MAKE SKOUDEHKARIS
- 💭 COOKING TIPS FOR SKOUDEHKARIS
- 📖 DELICIOUS VARIATIONS FOR SKOUDEHKARIS
- 🍲 MORE LAMB RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
- 🌡️ HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER SKOUDEHKARIS
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
The combination of tender meat, aromatic spices, and fluffy rice makes Skoudehkaris a dish that is sure to impress your friends and your taste buds!
In this recipe, we will use succulent lamb pieces cooked with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and a blend of spices. The meat is simmered in a rich tomato sauce until it becomes tender then infused with the delicious flavors of the spices. We'll cook the rice in the same juice as the meat, allowing it to soak up all the mouthwatering flavors and aromas!
This makes this delicious lamb and rice meal a one-pot dish that you're going to absolutely love! It's filling and hearty enough for the whole family, with flavors that will please even the little ones.
This recipe is a great way to explore the rich and diverse flavors of Djiboutian cuisine. It is a hearty and satisfying meal that is perfect for a festive gathering, especially during Eid Al-Fitr!
So, let's learn how to make this delicious and aromatic dish that will surely become a new favorite in your recipe collection!
WHAT IS SKOUDEHKARIS
Skoudehkaris is a traditional Djiboutian dish with tender lamb chunks cooked in a spiced tomato-based sauce and then layered with fragrant basmati rice. This recipe is usually made for special occasions and gatherings and is known for its rich and aromatic flavors.
The lamb is marinated in a blend of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, and black pepper, then cooked with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and tomato paste to create a thick and flavorful sauce.
The rice is cooked with the meat and sauce instead of separately. This makes the rice soak up all the delicious flavors and aromas of the dish for the perfect one-pot dinner meal!
Skoudehkaris is a dish that is very hearty and satisfying, making it perfect for a family dinner or a festive gathering.
WHERE DID SKOUDEHKARIS ORIGINATE FROM?
This Skoudehkaris recipe originally comes from the small African nation of Djibouti. In fact, it's so popular there it's actually the national dish of the country! It's traditionally cooked with lamb, but this is often substituted with chicken, beef, or even fish.
Djibouti is located in the Horn of Africa, along the Gulf of Aden. It was formerly a French colony which explains why many of the dishes have a French influence.
Nowadays, Djiboutian cuisine is a mix of Somali, Yemeni, Ethiopian, and French cuisine, with some South Asian (especially Indian) influences as well. Many Middle Eastern flavors and spices are also commonly used, thanks to the fact that Djibouti is a Muslim country. That's why you'll find spices such as saffron and cinnamon is commonly used in the recipes.
Interestingly, skoudehkaris is also a close cousin to the Indian biryani, the main difference being their spices and the way the rice is cooked.
Where biryani usually has garam masala, turmeric, red chili powder, and other Indian spices, most skoudehkaris include milder spices like cinnamon, black pepper, and cardamom. In biryani, the tomato gravy is also layered between cooked rice and simmer on low heat, while skoudehkaris is a lot easier to cook with the rice being cooked in the same pot.
Considering Djiboutian cuisine is also influenced by Indian cuisine, it's no surprise that these two dishes are so closely linked. The difference is subtle but makes skoudehkaris a unique dish you just have to try!
WHAT MAKES THIS SKOUDEHKARIS RECIPE SPECIAL?
Flavor-infused meat: Lamb is a very tender meat with a rich taste. It soaks up the taste of the spices and veggies which makes it even tastier!
Unique spice blend: The spices we'll use in this recipe create a complex and delectable flavor profile. Earthy and spicy, sweet and pungent, smoky and floral, this blend has it all!
Hearty and filling: With juicy meat and flavor-soaked rice, this recipe is sure to leave you and your guests very satisfied!
🥘 INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED FOR SKOUDEHKARIS
All you need are some simple ingredients to make the tastiest rice dish you've ever tried, which features subtle spices and flavors. Let's look at some of the main ingredients:
You can scroll down to the recipe card for further details and instructions.
Lamb: We're going to use lamb as the meat in our skoudehkaris. It has a rich, gamey, slightly sweet taste that is perfect for soaking up the flavor of the spices!
Ghee: The rich and nutty flavor of ghee is the perfect addition to the rest of the complex flavors in this dish and truly enhances all the flavors.
Tomatoes: We'll need the sweet and tangy taste of tomatoes to balance out the spicy and pungent flavors of our spices. Tomatoes will also make up the gravy mix that will add a ton of flavor to our rice dish.
Spices: The secret to this recipe is really the spice combination! We'll be using aromatic and subtle spices such as ground cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, and cardamom, with some red chili powder. The taste turns out subtle yet complex, each flavor adding something unique.
🔪 HOW TO MAKE SKOUDEHKARIS
Making Skoudehkaris is incredibly simple, even for absolute beginners. You'll have the flavors of Djibouti on your dinner table in no time.
The full instructions are in the recipe card below, but let's look at the main steps to making this treat.
To start, heat oil and ghee in a large pot. Then add the lamb meat and cook it until you see brown patches, which should take about 7 to 8 minutes on medium heat. Next, add the chopped onions and cook while stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and translucent, then add the garlic and green chilis. Cook on medium-low heat for about 2 minutes.
Now add the chopped tomatoes and bay leaves. Cook while stirring occasionally until the oil comes to the surface. When it does, turn the heat to low then add the spices, salt, and tomato paste, then stir it for 2 to 3 minutes.
After that, pour in two cups of boiling water, turn the heat up to medium, and when the mixture begins boiling, cover the pot. The meat will take about 40 minutes to cook depending on how big the lamb pieces are.
Pour in 1-½ cups of boiling water and allow the mixture to come to a boil again. Add the drained rice and stir for a few seconds. Wait for the juice to boil again then turn the heat to simmer and cover the pot tightly to make sure no steam escapes.
Cook the rice with the lamb for 17 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork or spoon.
Your delicious Skoudehkaris is ready to be served! Serve it with your favorite salad or flat bread on the side and enjoy!
💭 COOKING TIPS FOR SKOUDEHKARIS
Follow heat levels closely: When cooking this skoudehkaris recipe, make sure to follow the heat recommendations above. Too much heat can burn the ingredients and ruin the flavor of the dish.
Use fresh ingredients: Fresh tomatoes, onions, and spices all make a huge difference in the taste of this skoudehkaris recipe. Don’t skimp on these if you can!
Be patient: Skoudehkaris takes some time to make, so don't rush it! Take the time to let the flavors develop while it's cooking and enjoy the process!
📖 DELICIOUS VARIATIONS FOR SKOUDEHKARIS
Skoudehkaris is incredibly versatile and can be made with many different variations. Here are some tasty ideas to get you started:
- Different meat: Try changing up the meat in your skoudehkaris for a change in flavor. I particularly love it with beef cubes. In case you go for that instead, the cooking time will be more than 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can even use chicken or fish to make this dish.
- Vegetarian Skoudehkaris: Replace the meat with vegetables like carrots, potatoes, green beans, peas, and mushrooms. You can also use tofu or tempeh for a protein-rich version.
- Spicier version: If you want a spicier skoudehkaris, add some extra chili powder, cayenne, cumin, or turmeric to the recipe.
- Different rice: Basmati rice is traditionally used to make skoudehkaris but you can also try making it with short-grain rice instead. You will need to soak short-grain rice for 15 minutes instead of 20.
🍲 MORE LAMB RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
🌡️ HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER SKOUDEHKARIS
To store leftover skoudehkaris, let it cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Place it in the refrigerator and have it within 3-4 days.
To keep it longer, you can freeze the dish for up to 2 months. When you're ready to eat it, thaw it overnight in the fridge then reheat it in a pot over medium heat until it's warm all the way through.
- 500 grams lamb
- 2 medium onions thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 or 2 green chilies optional
- 3 tomatoes chopped deseeded
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 ¼ cup basmati rice washed and then soaked for 20 minutes
- 3 ½ cups boiling water
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt to taste I have used 2 teaspoons
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder or crushed
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- In a large pot, add the oil and ghee, when hot add the lamb meat and cook until brown patches can be seen. May take 7 to 8 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook while stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent and soft. Add the garlic and green chilies, cook on medium low heat for two minutes.
- Now add the chopped tomatoes and bay leaves. Cook while stirring occasionally until the oil come to the surface.
- Turn the heat to low and then add the spices, salt, and tomato paste. Stir for two to three minutes.
- Pour two cups of boiling water, turn the heat up to medium, when the mixture boils, cover the pot. The meat will take 40 minutes to cook depending on how big the lamb pieces are.
- Pour one and half cups of boiling water and allow the mixture to come to a boil again. Add the drained rice, stir for a few seconds. Wait for a boil again then turn the heat to the lowest and cover tightly making sure as much as you can that there’s no steam escapes the pan.
- Cook the rice with the lamb for 17 minutes.
- Fluff the rice with for or spoon. Then serve with your favorite salad on the side.
- You can use beef cubes but the cooking time will be more than 40 minutes. I have used basmati rice but you can go for short grain rice.
- You will need to soak short grain rice for 15 minutes instead of 20.