Cambuulo iyo Maraq (Rice with Adzuki Beans in a Spicy Tomato Sauce)

by cookwith2nomads

Cambuulo (ambulo) is a famous Somali dish usually served with sesame oil and a drizzle of sugar. It can be a mix of rice and adzuki beans or any kind of beans or lentils, corn and beans or sometimes just adzuki beans. Cambuulo is usually eaten for supper.

In my household we like to eat cambuulo with a tomato sauce called maraq or dalac bilaash (which means sauce). This dish is similar to the Egyptian kushari though they add macaroni.

Cambuulo is not healthy and nutritious, but so delicious that I think you will also ask for a second helping.

Cambuulo iyo Maraq (Rice with Adzuki Beans in a Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 1 cup long grain Basmati rice
  • 1 cup cooked adzuki beans or any kind of lentil (soak overnight and boil for about 20 minutes if using dried beans)
    400g can of diced tomatoes or 6 fresh tomatoes, diced (keep aside a handful for garnish or use toasted nuts and fresh coriander)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground chilli powder or chilli flakes. You can two green chillies (diced) as a substitute.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced finely
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup water


  1. Cover the rice with one and a half cups of water and a pinch of salt. Cover the pan and cook over low heat until the rice is done. This should take about 15 minutes.
  2. Mix in the cooked adzuki beans and keep aside.

Making the tomato sauce

  1. Saute the onions in the sesame oil until translucent.
  2. Add in the garlic and cook for about a minute
  3. Add in the diced tomato, tomato paste, cumin, coriander and chilli and cook for about five minutes. Add water to ensure the sauce doesn’t dry out. You want a thick, soupy consistency.
  4. Add the white vinegar and lemon juice. Simmer over low heat for about five minutes.

To serve

  1. Serve the cambuulo mixture in a bowl.
  2. Generously spoon the tomato sauce over the cambuulo
  3. Garnish with diced tomato. Sometimes we use fried onions as a garnish.


Author : Abderazzaq Noor
Recipe by : Abderazzaq Noor

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