A Sephardic side dish for Rosh Hashanah

Simone Rotstein
Sept. 2022

Roz bil Shaghria  (Rice with Vermicelli)

Rice is to Egyptians what couscous is to the North Africans; a daily staple and, growing up, my favourite rice dish was my mother’s Rice with Vermicelli. In Arabic, Roz refers to the rice and the word ‘shaghria,’ which also means hair, references the vermicelli. This side dish is often served on Rosh Hashanah, “so that one may be prolific and have many children.”

3/4 cup dry vermicelli, broken in 1-inch pieces
2 TBSP olive oil
1-1/2 cups long grain rice
3-1/4 cups boiling water or stock or use 
a bullion cube with the water

In a saucepan, fry the vermicelli in the oil over medium heat until lightly golden, stirring often and watching, as they brown very quickly.
Add the rice and stir to coat the rice grains. 
Pour in the boiling water or stock, add salt and stir well.
Cover and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. The rice should be tender and the water absorbed.
Serve hot.

I use brown rice and the cooking time is about 30 to 40 minutes.
You can fry a minced onion before adding the vermicelli.
Butter or other oils can be substituted for the olive oil.
A little coriander and cinnamon can be added with the rice.