This rich and tasty vermicelli rice (تمن شعرية) is quite commonly found on almost any Arab dining table.
Vermicelli is a very thin pasta, also known as angle hair. It is very much used in Egyptian cuisine. What makes this rice Iraqi, to me, is the crispy crust we like to include, although it is already delicious as it is. It is good enough to eat alone, with some plain yogurt.
Generally speaking, I prefer to use Basmati long grain rice in all of my cooking. But recently I have discovered the aromatic delights of Jasmine rice. The only problem is that it tends to get soggy fast. So the ideal ratio would be two cups Basmati and a cup of Jasmine.
Iraq produces the most incomparable rice I have ever tasted, named Anbar rice (تمن عنبر), but this is very difficult to get outside of the country.
2 Tbsp ghee
1 cup vermicelli
3 cups rice
2 tsp salt
Rinse rice in cold water until water runs clear, and drain, set aside.
Heat the ghee over medium-high heat, add the vermicelli and keep sauteeing until the color changes from a blond to a deep gold.
Add the rinsed and drained rice; gently stir with a wooden spoon using a folding action to evenly distribute the ingredients.
Add the salt, then the boiled water.
Once the rice begins to boil, immediately turn down heat to low, cover, and leave without stirring or uncovering for 20 minutes; until all the water has been absorbed and the grains are fluffy.
The rice is ready to serve now, but if you want to get the crispy crust, leave it covered over low heat for an additional hour or hour and a half.
Invert pot in serving dish just before serving, and you will have a beautifully golden crispy crust enveloping soft fluffy white grains of rice.