Dawood Basha (Meatballs with Vermicelli Rice) recipe
2 cups Sunwhite Calrose/medium grain rice, rinsed and strained
1 cup vermicelli
1 kg minced meat (beef or lamb)
1 cup vegetable oil
3 onions, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
4 tomatoes, peeled and juiced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon flour, mixed with ¼ cup of cold water
3 potatoes, cut into chunks and boiled
2 tablespoons allspice
Salt and pepper
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a medium pot and cook the vermicelli stirring it continuously to mix it well with the oil until it becomes golden brown in colour.
Stir in the rice and mix it well with the vermicelli. Pour in 3 cups of hot water or until the rice is covered completely. Sprinkle with some salt and black pepper stirring continuously.
When water starts boiling, cover the pot, lower the heat and cook the vermicelli heat on low heat from 20 to 25 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the meat with some salt, pepper, and allspice. Form the meat mixture into medium-sized balls then cook them in 3 tablespoons of oil for 5 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally until browned from all sides then set aside.
In the same oil, cook the onions until tender then add the garlic and keep frying.
Add the tomato juice with 1 tablespoon of allspice stirring continuously.
Stir in the tomato paste, pomegranate molasses, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Pour in around 1 cup of hot water and stir in the meatballs and potatoes. Stir well to combine with sauce.
If the sauce is not thick enough, stir in the flour mixture and mix it well with the sauce.
Cover the pot, lower the heat and cook the mixture for 10-15 minutes until it starts boiling.
Put the vermicelli rice in a big serving plate. Scatter the meatballs and potatoes around the rice and top it with the sauce. Serve hot.
Peeling tomatoes: using a sharp knife, make a cross in the bottom of the tomato and place it in a large bowl. Cover it with boiling water and set aside for 5 minutes. Plunge it in cold water for 1 minute then peel away the skin.
The potatoes are optional; the original recipe is without potatoes.