Somali Bantu Rice

Somali Bantu Rice
Mark Boughton Photography / styling: Teresa Blackburn
  • Yield: 5 servings

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


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

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 120
  • Fat 3.5g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 300mg
  • Carbohydrate 19g
  • Fiber 0g
  • Protein 2g