Prep 45m Cook 50m Additional 1h 15m Ready In 2h 50m
Servings 6 servings Calories 310.5

This is a Jewish recipe for New Year’s, Rosh Hashanah, from Iraqi Kurdistan. The sweet beets contrast with the earthy chard, salty beef, and sour lemon for a wonderfully complex taste in every bite. While the rice needs to soak for 1 hour, the prep and cooking is easy for the beautiful and elaborate dish it creates.

Recipe Ingredients

  • ¾ cup basmati rice
  • 4 ounces beets, peeled and shredded
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 4 teaspoons white sugar, divided
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 ounces beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large bunches chard leaves, stems removed

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Wash rice repeatedly in a large bowl of water until the water runs clear. Cover rice with fresh water and soak for 1 hour.
  2. 2 Drain rice and mix with shredded beets, garlic, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 of the lemon juice, dill, tarragon, and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
  3. 3 Heat oil in a 6-quart stock pot over medium heat. Add beef and remaining salt. Cook and stir until beef is browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove browned beef from the pot with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil behind. Add onion; cook and stir until browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Add cubed beets and saute for another 5 minutes. Remove onion and beets from the pot and mix with the beef.
  4. 4 Combine water, remaining lemon juice, and remaining sugar in a bowl to create sweet and sour water.
  5. 5 Place 1 layer of chard leaves on the bottom of the pot. Add 1/2 of the rice mixture, followed by a second layer of chard leaves. Add 1/2 of the beef mixture, followed by a layer of chard leaves, and the remaining rice mixture. Add another layer of chard leaves, the remaining beef mixture, and a final topping of chard leaves. Pierce the chard leaf layers with a long and thin knife all the way to the bottom a few times so steam can escape. Pour the sweet and sour water over the top.
  6. 6 Bring the pilaf to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Turn the heat to very low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 310.5
  • Carbohydrate 33.6 g
  • Cholesterol 49.6 mg
  • Fat 12.1 g
  • Fiber 4.1 g
  • Protein 19.2 g
  • Saturated Fat 4.1 g
  • Sodium 753.8 mg
  • Sugar 7.5 g

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Chef's Notes

You can use ground lamb instead of beef as well and any long grain rice instead of basmati; Dried basil can be substituted for the dried tarragon; If using table salt, use less than the amount given for kosher salt.


  1. I am not found of beets or chard but this was really good.