Indian Spiced Basmati Rice Pilaf.

Indian Spiced Basmati Rice Pilaf

I am always in search of the perfect side dish, especially when planning a dinner party. Because I entertain a lot, hosting large and small Shabbat dinners monthly, sometimes bi-monthly, I try to come up with tasty and nourishing side dishes that will satisfy all dietary preferences. Rice is always a good choice since it is gluten-free. This dish is vegan and gluten-free, making it even more of a welcome side. Since last month I featured Spanish rice, I thought we would travel clear across the globe to India for this delectable rice pilaf, which uses nutty basmati rice and is flavored with curry, turmeric and cinnamon. It derives its flavor from the curry, which is a combination of many spices including coriander, turmeric, cumin and red pepper. Turmeric, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, provides the bright yellow color. Adding the dried cranberries and slivered almonds elevates this rice from everyday to festive!


  • 2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup of Basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
  • sliced scallions for garnish


  1. Boil the broth and add the rice.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until cooked, usually 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, sauté for 5-7 minutes until translucent and fragrant.
  4. Stir in the cooked rice, curry, turmeric, cinnamon and dried cranberries. Season to taste with the kosher salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the almonds and scallions.
  6. Enjoy!
Indian Spiced Basmati Rice Pilaf.

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Lesley Wolman

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