Lebanese Hushwee—The Simplicity of Spices

Hushwee–Ground Meat Rice & Spices

Cinnamon in a savory dish? Yes, absolutely! The marriage of  flavors in this delectable dish compliment each other in deliciously unimaginable ways. I was taught this simple and scrumptious dish by my eldest sister whose recipe was passed down by her Lebanese mother in law. It soon became a household favorite, even in our Italian household, due to its simplicity and fullness of flavor.

Hushwee is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine; a humble, flavor-packed dish made of ground meat cooked in butter, rice then seasoned with cinnamon, allspice and toasted pine nuts. Serve with fresh, soft pita bread to scoop each luscious flavorful bite. Thanks, Big Sis! I love it today as much as the day you introduced it to me–many moons ago 🙂


1/2-1 pound coarsely ground lamb, beef, chicken or turkey

1-1/2 cups long grain rice (Uncle Ben’s is preferred)

4 Tablespoons butter

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 small onion; chopped fine

3 cloves garlic; minced

3 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt—or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2-1 teaspoon allspice

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


Brown meat and pine nuts in butter. Stir in spices, onion and garlic. Saute until vegetables are translucent. Add rice and stir until thoroughly mixed. Stir in chicken broth and parsley, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Top with additional fresh cracked pepper, chopped parsley and a sprinkling of cinnamon.


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