Bedouin Lamb Rice

Bedouin Lamb Rice is a rustic yet rich dish with minimal ingredients. You will know in a bit...๐Ÿ˜€This rice dish is so d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s with flavours of lamb meat cooked just with whole spices and dried lime. What made me want to try this Bedouin rice was that there is no special “spice mix” required, nor a zillion onions to be sliced… not even a peeling of garlic...๐Ÿ˜Š
Bedouin Lamb Rice

Haven't heard of Bedouins? I learned about them after I came to the Middle East. For the uninitiated, Bedouins are Arabic-speaking nomadic people of the Middle Eastern deserts. The food they eat or serve is always sourced from their own camels or goats. Hence, dairy products and meat are the most consumed food, along with dates. Even though rice and spices are imported, it is a major part of Bedouin cuisine. Their culture and lifestyle are worth reading and I can go on and on... but this post is about the rice... so will stick to it. With such simplicity of the dish, I wondered if Bedouin rice can be a special occasion dish. Meat eaters will not deny - meat in any form is always welcome. :-) 
Bedouin Lamb Rice

I made a big batch of this Bedouin lamb rice hoping to give away a portion to Z in her boxes that are sitting with me. But B-U-T, (you guessed it right! ) it was all over by late night...! We had most of it for a late lunch (supposedly an "early dinner") and later coaxed him into having the rest of it as a late dinner because well it was weekend eve! ๐Ÿ˜‹ Sorry Z, next time.

Bedouin Lamb Rice
new image added in April 2021
As there is no spice blend or spice powders involved, the taste of this Bedouin lamb rice is closest to the original and I don’t think it can get any simpler than this. The recipe is adapted from my favourite YouTuber Saudi Food Eman who has a plethora of Saudi food recipes and it is always a delight to watch her videos.

I had planned to post this for Saudi National Day which is next month but this is too good to wait that long! So linking this post for this month’s #MFBChallenge where we were asked to cook a meat-based recipe as Eid ul Adha (Bakrid) is around the corner. You know by the end of Eid day our freezer would be packed with all the meats we receive from family and neighbours etc. Don't hesitate to try this rice dish!

Bedouin Lamb Rice

Now, what is this rice served with? Almost all the gulf countries have a tomato-based condiment that is served with rice. Each of them calls it by different names and the most common being Salata Harra. But this time, I learned that in Saudi, it is called Dugous or Dakkous or Daqqus, and there is no fixed recipe. Add or reduce the items as per your taste. But the zing factor of tomato and lemon is the best thing that this rice can be married to.

How to make bedouin meat rice? In simple steps, pressure cook or pot cook the meat, add rice and more water as required and cook until done. Fry pine nuts and raisins to garnish. Blend the dakkous ingredients and serve. Tada!

Adapted from Saudi food Eman YouTube channel

Bedouin Lamb Rice Recipe

Yields: 2 to 3 foodies. 


For the lamb stock:
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 small-sized loomi (dried black lime)
  • 4 to 5 2inch cinnamon sticks
  • 6 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 850gms lamb or mutton with or without bones, chopped to bite sizes, washed and drained completely
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups of hot water
For Bedouin rice:
  • 2 cups basmati rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes and drained completely
  • salt to taste and more water if required
To Garnish:
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • Fistful coriander leaves, chopped
For Dugous / Dakkous / Daqqus or Salata Hara:
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • a few strands of coriander leaves
  • 1 garlic crushed and chopped finely
  • 2 green chillies
  • lemon juice to taste 
  • salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the garnish items:
  1. Heat ghee in a deep pot or deep pressure cooker on low to medium flame.
  2. Add the pine nuts and fry until golden brown, remove and keep aside. 
  3. Add the raisins and fry until puffed, remove and keep aside.
Prepare the lamb stock:
  1. Heat more ghee if required.
  2. Add all of the whole spices and roast on medium flame until fragrant.
  3. Add the washed and drained meat pieces and brown them with salt on high heat.
  4. Cook the meat uncovered on high heat stirring occasionally until you don't see any moisture.
  5. Add hot water and cover the pot or the pressure cooker.
  6. Pressure cook on a medium flame for 5 to 6 whistles and let the pressure cool on its own. Check the doneness of the meat and cook further if required. Pot cooking may take more time so cook until the meat is done. 
Prepare Salata Hara or Dugous:
  1. Blend the ingredients together in a blender just enough to break down the tomatoes but not too smooth. Adjust the salt and lime juice. 
Prepare Bedouin rice:
  1. Open the pressure cooker or pot, stir in the drained rice and add more hot water only if required. (the best way to determine is to make sure there is at least an inch of water above the rice.) and bring this to a full boil on high heat. Boil on high until the rice comes to the surface. 
  2. Reduce the flame to low and cover the pot/pressure with a tight lid. (don't need to put the weight on the pressure cooker). 
  3. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes and switch off. Do not be tempted to open it. Let it sit for 8 to 10 minutes unopened so that the rice steam cooks. 
  4. Open and fluff the rice and then transfer to a serving platter, garnish with fried nuts, raisins and fresh coriander. Serve hot with prepared Dugous or Salata haraa. 
  • You may place a heat diffuser pan between the pot and flame - to prevent burning and for even heat distribution.
  • If using bone meat, you may remove the bones before adding the rice. 

Bedouin Lamb Rice

If you want to know more about Bedouins, start from here. And then also check what other Muslim Food Bloggers have shared this month! 

I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then please do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe, please share the recipe with your friends and family on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Please do follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaiblog so that I can see your creations!