Syrian Oozie

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Oozie is a delicious rice dish tucked in a phyllo shell. This is typically served in Syria and Jordan for weddings, Ramadan and other special occasions. It is more of a festive dish but my mother in law made it for us when we visited. The basic filling for this dish is Roz Bizilla-Rice with peas which I posted a few months ago.

This dish is typically served with yogurt cucumber mint salad–this recipe can be found in Middle Eastern recipes-salads

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Ingredients

2 cups basmati rice

2 cups frozen peas

1/2 pound ground beef

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground allspice

5 cups water

salt to taste

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1 package phyllo dough

And/OR

One package of puff pastry sheets

I have used phyllo dough as well as Puff Pastry when making these. I like the phyllo better but my kids prefer the puff pastry. Phyllo gives it the classic crisp outer shell. You can try it with both doughs and decide what works best for you.

1/2 cup melted butter for brushing bowl and dough

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Directions

Fry ground beef, breaking into small pieces, cook until well done.  Add spices and continue cooking. Add water and peas, bring to a boil and cover to simmer. Season to taste with salt. Bring to a boil and add rice, cook on high for ten minutes, cover and turn heat to medium for ten minutes, turn to low for another 5 minutes or until rice is done. Stir rice and add toasted pine nuts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Thaw phyllo and/or Puff pastry dough according to package instructions.

I have a little custard bowl that I use for this recipe. You can use a smaller or larger bowl but usually individual servings are made. Butter the bowl using a pastry brush.

Cut phyllo according to the size of the bowl you are using. You will need long enough sheets so that they fit inside of the bowl and then hang over the side. If you are using Puff pastry you will need to roll it out a bit before placing it in the bowl. It will also require more cooking time than the phyllo dough.

Cut large enough pieces of phyllo to lay over bowl and seal on the bottom. Cover phyllo that is not being used so it does not dry out.

Place 4 sheets of phyllo (in a stack together) over bowl. Add rice and push down. Fill full and then bring ends over and push down, brush a little butter on ends and seal.  Turn over and onto a greased baking sheet. Remove the bowl and you will have a round shaped pastry. Brush the outside of phyllo pastry with butter. If you use puff pastry brush with a small amount of egg wash. Continue until you have filled the baking tray.

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Cooked rice
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place sheets of dough inside of bowl and over the sides and fill with cooked rice
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Pull together to seal ends

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Turn over and remove bowl
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Phyllo dough
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Puff Pastry dough

 

Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes or until dough is crispy on the top and bottom. Use package instructions as a guide for baking times for each of these dough types. This pastry will be very hot inside, let it cool a little and be careful when cutting open.

Serve with yogurt salad