Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jeweled Rice with Dry Fruits and Nuts

This rice will be a beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving table. 

Coconut milk adds a sweet taste to the rice. Dry fruits and nuts garnish glimmer like jewels against the white bed of rice.

Serves 8
• ¼ cup ghee (recipe follows)
• 2 bay leaves
• 10 cloves
• 1-inch stick cinnamon
• 6 green cardamoms, lightly crushed to open the shell
• 2 tablespoons ginger - garlic paste

• 2 teaspoons minced fresh green chilies, such as serrano
• 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
• 2 cups basmati rice
• one 13.5 fluid ounce can coconut milk
• 2 cups water
• ¼ cup dry apricots, cut into ½ inch pieces
• ¼ cup dry cranberries
• ¼ cup pistachio nuts

Heat ghee in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. When ghee is hot, add bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. Fry until cloves plump up. Add ginger garlic paste and green chili and stir for about 1 minute. Add salt and basmati rice. Stir well to coat all rice grains with a thin film of ghee and spices. Stir in coconut milk and water. At this point, you can transfer the mixture to rice cooker and finish cooking. Alternately, bring the rice mixture to boil. Reduce heat to lowest setting. Cover with the lid and cook until rice is done for about 20 - 25 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Fluff up the rice with fork. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with dry fruits and nuts and serve.

Cook’s Note: Whole spices are added for flavoring the dish and are not meant to be eaten.

Ghee is often compared to melted butter. Melted butter is where you heat the butter fat and it rises to the top, with the milk solids settled at the bottom. Ghee, however, is clarified butter that is simmered at medium low temperature until the milk solids turn golden brown. In the process it develops a nutty flavor. Then, you strain the milk solids using a fine mesh strainer. Ghee has a higher melting point, which means you can heat it to a high temperature without burning. Traditionally, using ghee to cook curries is a common practice in India. Nowadays, health-conscious Indian cooks replace ghee with vegetable oil. However, some dishes simply cannot do with out the ghee.

Yield 1 ½ - 1 ¾ cups
• 1 pound unsalted butter

Place butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Heat over medium low heat. At first butter will start foaming; later it will subside. Continue simmering until all the water is evaporated and the milk solids turn golden brown. Remove from the heat. Slowly pass it through the fine mesh sieve. Discard the brown bits.

This recipe is adapted from my cookbook.

For more memorable recipes, tablescapes, and entertaining ideas, please check out my book, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, at my website

I am joining Foodie Friday and   Cindy for Show and Tell.


  1. This looks so delicious. I actually have all of the ingredients on hand (we do a lot of Indian cooking) except the ginger garlic paste, which is new to me. Once I find it, I'm going to try this recipe.

  2. Hi Pattie,
    There is a recipe for ginger-garlic paste on my blog. Please check it out.

  3. Komali,
    I also plan to make this rice for Thanksgiving. I will serve the traditional Armenian Pilaf as well. Nice to have a choice!

  4. Oh my. I haven't had much Indian food, but wow, this rice looks and sounds wonderful. Happy FF.


  5. Hi Komali,
    nice recipe. Makes me hungry for scenting rice.
    Thank you for the recipe.
    Greetings, Johanna

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