Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Egyptian Rice with Vermicelli or Roz Bil Sha3reyyah

This has got to be my favorite Rice recipe.
Vermicelli is a type of pasta that is thinner than spaghetti, it comes in different lengths. The one Egyptians use in this recipe is the shortest type of Vermicelli (1 mm) it's easily found in supermarkets in Egypt. And if you live in Cairo, I suggest two brands: Either Jenan (Made in UAE) or Bizum Mushtak (Made in Turkey).

If you live abroad and you cannot find this short type called for, you can always buy the longer type and break it into 3-4cm lengths.

This rice goes great with potato dishes, vegetable stews and Meat or Chicken. Egyptians usually eat a different type of rice with Fish & Seafood dishes.

Rice with Vermicelli:

2 Tbs Butter
1/4 Cup Vermicelli
1 Cup White Rice
Salt to taste
1-2 Bay Leaves
1 1/4 Cup water


1. In a medium-small sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter.

2. Add Vermicelli, stirring constantly until browned. making sure not to over brown or burn the pasta.

3. Add Rice and salt, stirring constantly for a minute until combined.

4. Add water to sauce pan, throw in bay leave.

5. Cover and set heat to high.

6. After about 10 minutes or when rice begins to form holes (Air bubbles), reduce heat to low and let sit for ten more minutes. Taste for doneness.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Basic Tomato Sauce

Everybody's got their own variation of their go-to Tomato Sauce.

My mother makes hers with Mushrooms, green peppers and usually canned tomatoes. My grandmother makes hers basically based on tomato paste and my sister makes hers with Onions. And all of them have their different version for when they add minced meat to the sauce.

I'd never add minced meat to my tomato sauce, for some reason I'm generally not a big fan of minced meat.

We eat a whole lot of pasta at home, especially with red sauce, it's the fastest thing when I'm in a hurry and Mr.WD40 couldn't love Spaghetti with red sauce more.
So every three or four weeks I would make one big batch of 3 to 4 kilos of tomatoes pour in a large glass container and freeze for the month. I could divide it into portions and freeze in freezer bags but I don't have the space for that. It really does save me so much time, I just defrost and cut into the block of sauce and heat in a small sauce pan before adding to pasta.

The following recipe doubles as my Pizza sauce recipe as well, I only add dried basil to the sauce before topping the pizza with it.


3 kilos Tomatoes (Washed, peeled and seeded.)
3 Tbs Olive Oil
8 Garlic Cloves (minced, also to taste. Depends on how much you like garlic.)
1 Tbs Salt
1 Tbs Pepper
1/2 Tbs Dried Rosemary
1 tsp Chili Powder (Or to taste.)
2-3 TBS Tomato Paste
2 Tbs Oregano


1. Blend tomatoes in your stand mixer on a medium speed for a few seconds, let it be lumpy, careful not to over blend.

2. In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil and Garlic over medium heat.

3. Before the Garlic begins to color pour the blended tomatoes into the sauce pan, and let it cook on medium-high heat until mixture turns deep red and bubbly. Stir a few times.

4. Add Salt and Pepper, Stir to combine. Add spices, and cook for a few more minutes on low heat.

5. Add Tomato Paste and continue to cook until mixture reduces and thickens.

6. Turn off heat and let it cool before pouring it into a container and freezing it.