Arab arancine

Arab arancine

Introduction to the recipe

It is a well-known fact that Sicily’s customs and traditions were heavily influenced by the Arab domination, and this is particularly evident in its cuisine. Arancine themselves, traditionally seasoned with saffron, come from the Arabs, who used generous amounts of saffron in their cuisine.

It is from the Arabs that the Sicilian taste for pairing sweet with savoury also derives, giving rise to dishes laced with nuts and honey.

This “Arab arancina” challenges the boldest of palates, with a filling of ground veal and almonds striking a contrast with its sweet outer shell. Indeed, once they have been deep-fried, they are rolled in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon, making them unique among arancine.

From the East


160 grams


Ingredients for about 12 arancini

For rice:

  • 500 grams of rice ("Roma" and "Originario" rices, mixed in equal doses)
  • 1.1 liter of vegetable stock
  • 2 bags of saffron
  • 10 grams of salt
  • 60-100 grams of butter

For the finish:

  • 180 ml of water
  • 100 gr of flour
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 150 gr of breadcrumbs
  • 50 gr of brown sugar
  • 20 grams of cinnamon powder

For the filling:

  • 300 gr of minced veal

  • half onion

  • 1 tablespoon of apple vinegar

  • 50 g of toasted almonds

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • salt

Preparation of rice and filling


How to prepare the rice:

  • In a saucepan, put the broth, the butter, the saffron and the salt
  • When the stock is boiling, add the rice and mix well
  • Cover and cook over low heat until the rice absorbs all the broth and is cooked but al dente
  • When cooked, stir, pour the rice on a cold surface and spread evenly to allow rapid cooling
  • When the rice is cool down, it is ready to prepare the arancini

For more informations about rice, Click here.

The filling

  • Mince the onion and sauté it in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil until it becomes translucent
  • Add the veal and sauté it over high heat until it begins to brown
  • Add the vinegar, salt to taste, then simmer until the liquid has been absorbed or reduced
  • Chop the almonds coarsely
  • Remove the veal from the heat and add in the almonds. Mix well and leave it to cool

How to shape the arancini

How to frying the arancini

The finishing touch

Put the arancini in the batter and in the bread crumbs as follows:

  • In a bowl, place the flour
  • Add the egg and water and beat well with whips
  • When the batter is smooth and dense, pass the arancini
  • Immediately after having passed them in the batter, pass the arancini in bread crumbs


  • Fry in plenty of oil until golden brown, to ensure your arancini fry up perfectly, use one of the following oils: peanut oil, olive oil, or palm oil.
  • Heat the oil to the ideal temperature, 190°C, either in a frying pan or by setting the temperature on your deep fryer.
  • If using a pan, you can make sure that the oil has reached the proper temperature by dropping in a bread crumb. If it sizzles, then the oil is ready.
  • Immerse the arancini gently in the oil, only a few at a time, so as to prevent the temperature of the oil from falling too low.
  • When they are done, place the arancini on absorbent paper, then serve.
  • Blend the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and roll the arancine in it quickly, then serve

For more information about Finishing and Frying, Click here.

Enjoy your arancini!


The almonds can be substituted with other types of nuts, such as pine nuts.

Bonus idea

If you wish to enhance the sweet aspect of these arancine, you can add a handful of raisins to the filling

What do you think of the recipe? Send us the photos!

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  • Arancinotto Staff