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Albanian Burani is a simple great all-in-one pot spinach and rice recipe. It’s quick, easy, CHEAP and healthy. Flavorful white basmati rice cooked with spinach with eggs often introduced within the mixture or cooked on top – which I prefer!
We have this dish quite often, after a long day at work the quickness means I can whip it up without needing to stand by and tender to it. Plus you feel super healthy after eating so much spinach!
Albania’s traditional meals are often simple to make and cost very little to produce. Being known as a ‘poor’ (but growing) country villagers will often grow all the ingredients they need on their own land. A lot of trading takes place too, if you don’t have something there’s always someone near by that has what you need.
What I love about Burani is that is can be served on it’s own as a meal or as a side dish to meat (I exclude the eggs on top for that and serve boiled eggs instead). It is versatile with some versions containing Kos – Albanian yogurt, chopped tomatoes, onions and mince.
My recipe is the traditional spinach and rice version with eggs poached on top as an addition to make it into a meal.
In a large deep saute pan (or you can use a large saucepan) melt together the butter and olive oil. While these melt, fill the kettle with 1 litre of water and bring to the boil.
In a saucepan add the butter, olive oil and onion. Fry for 2-3 minutes until the butter is fully melted and the onion is just starting to brown.
Add the rice and stir continuously for a minute ensuring the rice is mixed with the onion then add the boiling water - be careful as this will spit as you add it to the pan. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and leave for 10 minutes.
Add the spinach and stir it in until it has completely wilted. Bring the mixture back up to the boil and leave to boil with the lid off until there is only a small amount of liquid left at the bottom - about 5 minutes.
Crack the eggs over the top of the Burani and place the lid on. Watch carefully as you do not want to over cook the eggs, they take 3 - 4 minutes to cook. Check the whites are fully cooked through before removing from the heat and leaving to cool for 5 minutes before serving.