When I first decided to make this recipe, I was little dubious because the ingredients didn't seem too exciting. Boy, was I wrong! This dish was incredibly good...something that I would definitely make again! The taste/texture was similar to Rice-a-Roni, but so much better, without that packaged taste. I topped it with chopped chives for a little more color, and everyone loved it.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (or 2-3 whole cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (or 5-6 cardamom pods)
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 3 cups vegetable stock or water (you can also use chicken stock if you're not vegan)
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 3 dates, finely chopped
  • 3 dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins, chopped
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds, crashed


  • Place the onion and the olive oil in a large pot and sauté under medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add cumin, allspice, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, pepper and rice and stir until rice gets a white color, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the stock (or water), salt and saffron, cover the pot and wait until it starts to boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook covered until almost all of the water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, add the dried fruits and almonds and stir/fluff up gently with a fork. Cover the pot and let the pilaf rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Eat!

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