Middle Eastern Rice and Peas with Cucumber Yogurt {Riz ou bazalaya}

I'm eating this dish as I type this post, and I forgot how much I love it!  Miss no appetite ever Ayla is asking for more and I'm sitting here wondering why I don't make this more often!

It's SO easy.  

Is everyone sick of me saying everything is SO easy haha.

But seriously,

It is.  

Like if you can boil water you can make this dish.  But the best part about this meal is the cucumber mint yogurt served on the side.  


On a separate note, I took a personality test today.  I know it sounds like I'm a weirdo lol but it was one of those emails that every one of my friends took and we talked about the results and the analyzation and mine was so accurate, actually all of them were creepily accurate!  My analysis said I like to inspire people and I couldn't agree more.  

I really hope my recipes and dishes inspire someone, anyone, to explore Syrian and Middle Eastern cuisine.  I was always so intimidated because I saw my grandmother spend allllll day cooking and I assumed it was such a time consuming style of cooking but its actually not that bad!  My grandmother and mother were just cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner for an entire tribe basically!  Anyway if anyone wants to take the test its at www.16personalities.com and mine is ENFP.  If you take it please comment and let me know what you got, it's so much fun!  I feel like I know myself a lot better now, and who doesn't want that.


  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber shredded (1/4 cup)
  • 1 T dried mint
  • A lot of salt ( cucumbers are very watery and they'll water the sauce down so compensate by adding more salt than usual)


  • Mix all the ingredients together! As simple as that


  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lb chicken (I used boneless chicken thigh for this one)
  • 1 cup sweet green peas
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (or substitute slivered almonds)
  • 1 t olive oil


  • Boil chicken in water covered for 35 minutes (I also add bay leaves, onions, cardamon, cloves, black whole pepper, salt and cinnamon stick.  Feel free to add all or some for more flavorful chicken stock)
  • In the meantime sauté the green peas and pine nuts in oil until pine nuts are golden brown and set aside
  • Take 2 cups of the chicken stock and let it come to a boil
  • As soon as it boils add the rice, reduce heat to low, cover and set timer for 15 minutes
  • Let it sit covered for another 5 minutes before removing the cover
  • I like to brown the chicken by broiling it in the oven for several minutes
  • To serve; put rice first, chicken, and top with peas and pine nuts
  • Serve immediately with cucumber yogurt
  • Enjoy!