Aromatic Rice Recipe

We originally found this fragrant rice recipe in House & Garden and have, over time, tweaked it to our own taste.   It is wonderful with chicken marinated in yoghurt, coriander and mint (found in the same issue of House and Garden). That said, we often enjoy it with simply grilled chicken and a crispy green salad.   We would definitely recommend this one!

  • 170g basmati rice
  • 3 cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cloves
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 a medium (chopped)
  • 70g shelled pistachio nuts
  • 70g dried cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose water
  • pinch rose petals
  • 3 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
  • Place the pistachio nuts and cranberries in a bowl. Just cover with hot water and leave to soak for 30-40 minutes.  Drain carefully, retaining both the nuts and cranberries as well as the water.
  • Soak the rice in cold water for 30-40 minutes and drain fully.
  • Finely chop the onion.
  • In a heavy bottom pan, infuse the butter with the bay leaf, cloves and cardamom pods for a few minutes.   Then remove the bay leaf, cloves and cardamom pods, saving them for later.
  • Gently cook the chopped onion in the butter until it is soft.  Using a spoon with holes, remove the cooked onion, draining as much of the butter back into the pan as possible.  Keep the onion aside.
  • Next, cook the pistachios and cranberries in the butter for a few minutes.  Using a spoon with holes, remove the pistachios and cranberries, draining as much butter back into the pan as possible.  Keep aside.
  • Finally, put the rice in the pan and gently stir around to coat the grains with the last of the butter.
  • Add back the bay leaf, cloves, cardamom and onion.  Pour in the water used to soak the fruit and nuts and stir gently.
  • Cover and simmer.  Frequently check and stir the rice.  Do not let it stick to the pan.  Add a little more boiling water as needed to cook the rice.  Be patient, don’t flood the rice with water – rather, add a little at a time.
  • When the rice is just soft, and the water has boiled away, it is ready.
  • Add in the nuts and cranberries and half a teaspoon of rose water.  Gently stir.
  • To serve, place in a warm serving dish and sprinkle with rose petals.