Jeweled rice is a fixture of Persian cuisine; a stunning centerpiece of golden, spiced rice, full of fruit and nut “jewels.” This pilaf-style rice is commonly served at celebrations, and when packed with symbolic foods, or simanim, it is a perfect side dish for Rosh Hashanah.
This variation of jeweled rice is more than a side dish. With the addition of chickpeas, it becomes a one-pot meal that will satisfy plant-based and meat eaters alike. When it comes to cooking for vegetarians, I like to try and add protein whenever I can so that everyone leaves the meal satisfied, no matter their dietary needs. To turn this one-pot dish into a true feast, you can serve it with grilled chicken, spiced fish or top it with grilled halloumi.
Made in one pot, this High Holiday-inspired rice features symbolic carrots, raisins (or currants) and pomegranate for a sweet and prosperous new year. Long-grain basmati is the best rice to use in this recipe, as it maintains its shape without becoming sticky. Traditional jeweled rice uses saffron for a beautiful golden hue and unique flavor, however, this pantry friendly version calls for golden ground turmeric, which means that it is on the table faster, but equally as delicious!
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup long grain basmati rice, rinsed
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp Aleppo pepper
- ¼ tsp orange zest
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1½ cups vegetable broth, low sodium, if preferred
- 2 Tbsp currants or raisins
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup dried figs, quartered
- ½ cup chopped pistachios
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onion and cook for 5-6 minutes until it begins to soften and begin to turn translucent.
- Add the rice, and stir until coated with oil. Add the garlic, grated carrot, paprika, turmeric, salt cumin, Aleppo pepper and orange zest, stirring for 2-3 minutes to coat the rice.
- Pour the chickpeas and vegetable broth into the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.
- Add the currants, cranberries and figs and let sit for 5 minutes for the fruit to hydrate slightly.
- Add the chopped pistachios, pomegranate seeds and fresh parsley just before serving.
- You can use low-sodium chicken broth, if preferred.
- Aleppo pepper is a mild chili flake with a deep red color and a savory, fruity flavor. You can substitute this for a pinch of regular chili flakes, which are much spicier, or an extra ¼ tsp sweet paprika.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: One-pot
- Cuisine: Sephardic