Jeweled Basmati Rice

jeweled basmati rice

This is a simple and elegant dish that will work in just about any circumstance, whether it be a main dish, side dish, or holiday take along.  I was inspired by looking at some beautiful photographs of foods from Iran.  I love the color combination of the pistachios and cranberries, along with the lovely orange-y hue of the rice.  The good thing about this dish is that you can prepare all of the mix-ins while your rice cooks… so I would definitely classify this as a quick meal.  It took me about 35 minutes (using a rice cooker) to make it all come together, and my kitchen smelled absolutely wonderful.  This was the first time I tried anything remotely close to this, and it was so easy, I will be making this over and over again.

Jeweled Basmati Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, sliced or chopped
  • 1/2 cup almonds, sliced or chopped
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 3 medium sized carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 20 strands saffron threads, or 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Earth Balance margarine, for sautéing


Cook rice according to package directions.

While rice is cooking, gently sauté cranberries with Earth Balance until soft.  Add in almonds and pistachios and all spices but turmeric and let cook about 45 seconds.  Remove from heat and coat in sugar.  Set aside.

cranberries and nuts.

In heavy frying pan, combine carrots, currants, golden raisins, and half of the saffron threads or 1 tsp turmeric powder with 2 cups vegetable broth.  Cook on high heat, stirring often until all liquid has been absorbed.  Set aside.

basmati fixins

When rice has finished cooking, take 1/2 cup of rice and mix with 1 tsp turmeric powder or the rest of saffron threads and combine in large bowl until nice and yellow.  Mix with the sautéed carrots and other stuff.  Toss in cranberries and pistachios.  Gently fold in the remaining white rice.  Serve hot.

close-up basmati

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6 Responses to Jeweled Basmati Rice

  1. Jadems says:

    When I saw this, I knew I’d be cooking it to take for Christmas lunch. Just came back to the post to steal the recipe! It’s going to be the best Christmas ever -how good is it when a bit of rice makes the holiday?!

  2. Mo says:

    Oh wow. That looks so good!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Oh my goodness, yes! This is the most magical rice dish I’ve ever seen! Beautiful colours and ingredients. I have a feeling I’m going to be making this a lot as well!

    • allyson says:

      Thank you so so much everybody! I’m glad you thought it was as pretty as I did! :)

  4. K says:

    I agree, the photo is stunning! I love the combo of pistachios and cardamom with rice, so I definitely need to make this recipe up here soon! Thanks so much for sharing it! :)

  5. Wow! That photo is absolutely gorgeous, it jumped right off the screen and my jaw dropped. I can’t believe that you say it was easy to make this, it looks positively gourmet! Really well done, such a tasty and stunning dish.