Somali Bantu Rice

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 5 servings

Flavored with cilantro and cardamom, this rice is a great side for chicken or beef.

Somali Bantu Rice
Mark Boughton Photography / styling: Teresa Blackburn

You might want to remove the cardamom pods from the rice after cooking, especially if you’re serving this to kids.


1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 green cardamom pods
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
3 1/2 cups boiling water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro, finely chopped


  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Add red onion, cardamom pods and cumin seeds. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add rice and stir to combine. Add boiling water, bouillon cubes and garlic; stir. Cover and cook over low heat until rice is done, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary. When rice is done, remove from heat and stir in cilantro before serving.

Recipe adapted with permission from Making West Home in Idaho: Stories and Recipes from Boise’s Refugee Community (Western Folklife Center, 2010).



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