Saudi Shorba with oats


There are many Algerians who insist on having Algerian Shorba Frik to break the fast every evening during the month of Ramadan. (I posted the recipe for Shorba Frik recently and it can be found here) Fortunately my Algerian husband is not one of them! He likes to eat a variety of soups throughout the month. Soups are gentle on the digestive system and are a good dish to prepare for the breaking of the fast and I enjoy making a range soups from simple cream of vegetable (leek and potato, celery, tomato, mushroom etc) to more substantial soups such as Saudi shorba with oats.

Saudi Shorba really has to be the simplest and easiest soup in the world to make! It uses minimal ingredients and no blending is required. The secret is in cooking the soup long enough for the meat to become very tender and the oats to disintegrate somewhat and become very soft so they melt in your mouth.

You need:

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic

2 or 3 pieces of lamb on the bone

1/2 tin chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon ground cummin

salt and pepper

1 dried black lemon

1/2 cup fast cooking oats OR barley (remember that barley will take longer to cook)


Gently saute the onions and garlic in a pressure cooker, when softened add the meat and fry until sealed. Add all the other ingredients and 3/4 litre water. Stir well and bring to the boil and then cover the pan and reduce heat to a simmer. Keep checking the water level and stir regularly to stop the oats from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add more water if you want the soup thinner.

Soup is ready when the meat is tender and oats are mushy. Remove the black lemon before serving.

About these ads

27 responses »

  1. I just wanted to say a huge jazakAllahu Kharaan for this recipe! I had a Saudi friend growing up and loved this soup her mom made. And I think Ramadhan is the month for soup recipes, right :)
    This looks like what I’ve been looking for !
    One question, though – her’s had some kind of leaf in it? Not sure if this is a type of flavoring -would you happen to know?

  2. I’ve seen a soup like this being cooked but I’ve always been a bit afraid of the oats in it….it looks delicious though masha’allah

  3. as salamu alaykum

    alhamdulillah Umm Ibrahim, my husband is like yours… Shorba is NOT for every single day of the whole Ramadhan :D

    I might give a try to this soup then…insh’Allah :)

  4. Assalamualikum,

    I like this shorba very much too ….. my mom makes it (very delicious) …… but we add a little bit more of spices like red chilly powder (the Indians!!!) ;)

  5. Assalaamu alaikum

    Heba: Wa iyyaaki al jazaa. :) I don’t know what the leaf could be that you have had in the soup before. This is not my favourite soup, I just make it because my husband likes it a LOT! Am wondering if the leaf could be coriander or parsley… Asked hubby if he ever had it with a herb in and he doesn’t remember. Sorry!

    SeekingTaqwa: Try with barley instead then, probably more healthy and substanstial although it will take longer to cook. The meat is important by the way! The gelatine from the bones adds to the consistency and flavour.

    UmAlMujahid: I think I only made Alg. Shorba once this Ramadan so far!

    Uneekmuslimah: The addition of chilli in almost any dish is welcome I think!

  6. interesting. I’ve never heard of this before. We like shorba frik in my house because my version is very light. It fills you up without being too heavy.

    Today I made a chicken and wild rice soup. It is mostly chicken stock but is finished wiht half and half to give it some creaminess. We love this one too. It makes a large batch and then we freeze it in ziploc bags for later.

  7. Umm Ibrahim it’s coriander leaves though … and we use it for decoration though and slices of lemon too …….

  8. Interesting that the name of the soup is Shorba Frik, yet you list barley or oats as the grain.

    My family loved the same soup, but I used fareek, or freeka, which I never heard of before I met my Egyptian husband. It’s wheat, but its flavor is quite distinctive; I don’t know how it’s dried.

    I used Arabic spices in it, not greens, but fresh cilantro (kuzbara) would be good. It’s good in everything.

  9. You mentioned the pressure cooker, but then I didn’t notice you using it to cook the food. Can you use another pot?

  10. BismiLlahi arRahmani arRahim.
    As salamu aleiku wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuhu.
    From my shares in the last two days there is a winter climate, mashaa Allah, and every kind of Shorba is suitable!! And then I like to try new recipes for soups! Indeed I love “Moroccan Harira”…;-)
    Like uneekmuslimah, I like to add chilli or ginger…so I heating better from the cold!! Isn’t it??? ;-)
    Thank you for your recipes!! Jazaki Allahu khairan!!

  11. Assalaamu alaikum

    Eng. Hasan Al-Bahkali: Wa iyyaakum.

    UmmAbdurRahman: This soup is a well-known Saudi soup; it is not eaten in Algeria sis. The wild rice and chicken soup sounds delicious!

    uneekmuslimah: Thanks for the info!#

    Marahm: Maybe the way I phrased the opening paragraph was misleading; I tried rephrasing a little. The Shorba frik mentioned is the Algerian soup I posted the recipe for recently, it contains cracked wheat (frik). This alternative Saudi recipe contains oats or barley.

    Um Omar: Yes, I used a pressure cooker but equally you could just a regular saucepan with lid and prolong the cooking time.

    Lubna Karim: Thanks for the invite; sounds very interesting. Would love to join. :)

    Mujahida: Good idea to add chilli and ginger to warm you up on a winters day!

  12. My husband is one of those who like Shorba Frik and Borak every Iftar. I think he feels he doesn’t get the full fulfillment if he doesnt have it.

  13. BismiLlahi arRahmani arRahim.
    As salamu aleikum wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuhu.
    UMM ADAM: do you want the recipe of a Egyptian sweet called “Umm Ali”? Because I have it on a book of arabic recipes. If you want that recipe, insha Allah tell me and I will try to write it (I try because my english is not too good). InshaAllah.
    As salamu aleikum.

  14. another ramandan delight looks nice , i also think soups are better for the tarawwiah prayers being light on the stomach!

  15. Assalaamu alaikum,

    UmmAhmed: Alhamdu Lillah he enjoys it! :)

    UmmAdam: I have a recipe in a Mid. Eastern cookbook also which calls for khubz or filo fried and then broken up and nuts, raisins, condensed milk, milk and spices are poured over and it’s baked. Have never made it myself or even seen or tasted it so I wouldn’t know if the recipe is any good.

    Mujahida: The book you have is Italian?

    Rainbow: Definitely sis! I am eating very little at iftar time now – I wish I could sustain this after Ramadan!

    B.H.G. – Look forward to visiting you blog… hope it’s in English…!

  16. BismiLlahi arRahmani arRahim.
    As salamu aleikum wa rahmatuLlahi.
    Yes my dear sister, the book is in italian becuse…well, I confess!! I’m italian!! ;-)
    But I found some links for that recipe…so I dont’have to write in english! :-D

    Insha Allah the sister will try this recipe. I like it, it’s very simple to make but also very tasty.
    As salamu aleikum wa rahmatuLlahi.

  17. mujahida, jazallahu khayr. i will attempt to make this insha’allah. i love it when it is made good, which means that i will probably hate mine.

  18. I just found your blog now–it is so nice. The “leaf” in question in the soup might be a bay leaf, although I have never seen it in Saudi Soup before. This soup is a staple in our house, along with samboosa!

  19. I forgot to mention, along with the black lemon which is a must, the Saudis add cardamon seed (hale or habahan), cinnamon stick and maybe a clove or two. I think they Sauidis dont cook anything without cradamon…anyway that’s the way I learned it! I’m going to link to your blog–very nice recipes masha Allah!

  20. For all the people discussing about leaves in that soup , Infact that leaves are called Sheba (Arabic Name ). Sorry i dont know the english name.

  21. assalamualikum
    thanks for the recipe. i was searching for this recipe,may be the same i had in this ramadan when i went for umrah . as the pic shows the same recipe any how i will try the recipe. i dont know the name too. But one of my relatives who said that the recipe is made of intestine instead of meat.But its quite intrresting to see the pic which makes me to prepare the recipe by today itself.

  22. Assalamualikum
    thank you so much for posting this recipe,for along time I was looking for this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s