Surbuyaan: The Perfect Dish for Special Occasions or Weeknight Dinners with a Twist

Surbuyaan is a fragrant and flavorful Somali rice dish perfect for special occasions or weeknight dinners. This dish is a unique twist on the traditional biryani and features tender lamb or your choice of meat, potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and USimplySeason Xawaash. The Xawaash spice blend adds a rich and aromatic flavor to the dish, making it an authentic taste of Somalia. Try this recipe for Surbuyaan and experience the bold and complex flavors of Somali cuisine in your kitchen.


  • 1 Tbsp Oil (ghee, olive oil, or available vegetable cooking oil)
  • 14 oz (400 gr) lamb, cubed (or meat of choice)
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • 3 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 Tomatoes, diced
  • 11 oz (300 gr) Potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size
  • 11 oz (300 gr) Rice, basmati, or jasmine
  • 2 Tbsp USimplySeason Xawaash
  • 1 tsp Salt + 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 500 ml water


  1. Rinse the rice several times and soak it in cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the diced onion and saute for 3-5 minutes or until soft and translucent.
  4. Add the lamb cubes and saute for 5-7 minutes until browned on all sides.
  5. Add the garlic, diced tomatoes, USimplySeason Xawaash, and 1 tsp salt to the pot and combine.
  6. Cover the pot and cook the mixture for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the lamb is cooked and the tomatoes have broken down.
  7. Add the diced potatoes to the lamb mixture and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Drain the rice and add it to the pot with the lamb and potato mixture.
  9. Add 500 ml water and 1/2 tsp salt to the pot and stir well.
  10. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot.
  11. Simmer the mixture for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.
  12. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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