Bahraini Sweet Rice (Muhammar)

Recipe by UmmBinat
READY IN: 43mins


  • 1
    cup basmati rice, rinsed in cold water
  • 14
    cup date molasses (date syrup, dibs tamar in Arabic, found in Middle Eastern shops)
  • 14
    teaspoon saffron, ground (I use a mortar and pestle. Iranian saffron is definitely superior in taste and colour)
  • 14
    tablespoon cardamom, freshly ground
  • 1
    teaspoon rose water (I prefer Iranian, I find flower waters vary quite a bit in quality)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 4
    tablespoons butter, a lot is needed to form the sought after crust (or ghee, (or more)


  • Combine, saffron, freshly ground cardamom and rose water in a small cup.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil with sea salt to taste. Add the rice and boil uncovered for precisely 8 minutes, then drain.
  • Mix the date molasses with the rice, then mix in the rose water mixture.
  • Choose a medium sized heavy bottomed pot (I use a cast iron pan, see intro). Melt the butter in it over medium heat. Add 2 spatula-fulls of rice and mix with the butter, patting down to cover the bottom of the dish. Pile the reminder of the rice in a loose cone shape and poke a few holes in the rice with the spoon handle. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of water over the rice, then cover tightly. Place over medium low heat and let cook for 20-25 minutes. Keep a close eye at the end as the rice can burn (use your nose to see if it begins to smell burned).
  • The easiest way to unmold the rice is to prepare a sinkful of cold water, dip the bottom of the pot in cold water for about 30 seconds, then invert the pot onto a serving platter. If the rice crust does not release fully, simply break up the crunchy pieces that stuck to the pot and scatter over top.
  • Serve with recipe#443922 or a Gulf Arabian fish or shrimp dish.
  • Enjoy!