Jewelled Persian Rice Pilaf

Hello gorgeous Jewelled Persian Rice Pilaf. Is rice pilaf the best, or is rice pilaf the best? Obviously, yes and yes. In particular, this Rice Pilaf because it's made in one pan, it's layered with flavour and colour, and it's quick and easy to make. It tastes so damn delicious that I can't stop stealing more bites our of the leftover containers while I'm packing them up to put in the fridge. Don't pretend you don't know what I am talking about...


Jewelled-Persian-Rice-Pilaf Jewelled-Persian-Rice-Pilaf 


Now the thing is, I love quick and easy. Especially during the week. And this midweek beauty is very easy. Like, totally easy. This Rice Pilaf is started by caramelising onions in a pan until they are dark and sweet. Vegetable stock and long grain rice is added to the pan, along with a melody of punchy spices (why hello cumin, coriander and cinnamon) and orange juice and zest. These humble yet beautiful ingredients are cooked together until the rice is just on the edge of "al dente". Then the rice is taken off the heat and toasted slivered almonds, dates and apricots are added for crunch and chewy sweetness. Just before serving, handfuls of freshly chopped coriander leaves are tossed into the Rice Pilaf, and then lavishly garnished with jewelled pomegranate seeds. 


Jewelled-Persian-Rice-Pilaf Jewelled-Persian-Rice-Pilaf



What is rice pilaf?

Rice Pilaf is all about adding flavour into rice. While rice is typically cooked in boiling water without any flavour added, Rice Pilaf is sautéed with caramelised onions and aromatics before being cooked in a stock or broth to created a deliciously flavoured rice. In my humble opinion, Rice Pilaf is the king of rice dishes; it's so versatile and it's my favourite way to cook rice. 


Can it be served as a main meal or a side dish?

Both! I love Rice Pilaf because it happily stands out from the crowd as a main dish, but also sits comfortably as a side dish with all sorts of salads, and roasted or barbecued meats and fish. 


What does rice pilaf go with?

Lots of roasted and barbecued meats and fish, especially those with middle eastern flavours. I love serving this Rice Pilaf with barbecued lamb ribs and my famous (amongst my family and friends) Buttered Carrots with Yoghurt, Coriander Oil, Hazelnuts and Jewelled Pomegranate (recipe coming next!).


Where did rice pilaf originate?

Rice pilaf has Persian origins, and was first documented by tenth century scholar, Abu Ali Ibn Sina, who wrote a book which included an analysis of the ingredients and methods used for preparing this dish. Rice Pilaf also has roots in in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. 


Can I freeze rice pilaf?

Yes, absolutely! Rice pilaf can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Simply defrost it in the microwave or let it defrost naturally, before warming it up in the microwave. The toasted slivered almonds will most likely go a little soft in the microwave so add more once it's warm.


Jewelled-Persian-Rice-Pilaf Jewelled-Persian-Rice-Pilaf


Head on down to my Recipe Card below where I show you how to make the perfect Rice Pilaf. I promise you won't regret it! If you love my recipe (fingers crossed), I would love you to leave a 5 star rating below. And did you know? You can also stay in touch with me by following along on Instagram and Pinterest.