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A staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, this rice with orzo is the every day rice of the Middle East, and it’s by far the most served side dish in that part of the world. Since I serve Middle Eastern food most of the time, this rice is served with nearly everything. This is a simple three-ingredient side dish of orzo pasta, rice, and ghee. The traditional version of this rice is cooked with broken vermicelli pasta instead of orzo, but in our family we love it with the orzo. To give this Middle Eastern rice flavor right from the start, toast the orzo in ghee or butter until golden brown, then add the rice, and toast so that each rice grain is coated with the ghee. Clarified butter or ghee gives the orzo and the rice that mouth-watering nutty, toasted flavor that you simply can’t get by using olive oil or regular butter. You will have the best side of rice!


  • 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter or olive oil

  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta, uncooked

  • 2 cups Jasmine rice, uncooked

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Melt ghee in a pot, add orzo and stir continuously until browned, stirring frequently, until it is golden/dark brown. Be careful to not let it burn. This takes about 4-5 minutes..

  2. Add jasmine rice and mix together. Toast the rice for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously.

  3. Add water and salt, mix, & bring water to a boil.

  4. Once boiled, cover and simmer on low heat till water has been completely absorbed, about 15 minutes.

  5. Remove pan from the heat and fluff rice with a fork before serving.

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