Spiced Apricot Almond Rice is vibrant and aromatic with Turmeric, Cinnamon and Cardamom, and rich with toasted Almonds and Dried Apricot.
This recipe is a variation on a rice dish I frequently make as part of an Indian-style meal featuring a Curry, or two, plus other appropriate sides. The essential difference here is that, instead of using either Saffron (as I do occasionally), or Powdered Turmeric (much more commonly), I have employed my Homemade Turmeric Paste for both color and flavor. The additional aromatics, along with toasted Almond and slivered Dried Apricot, make this a great centerpiece for a wide range of accompaniments.
You can see my Homemade Turmeric Paste at the right of the above picture, just in front of the container of stock. You can substitute this with a commercially prepared Turmeric Paste for this, or else just use an equal amount of Turmeric Powder. The color and taste will be slightly different, but the effect will still be very nice.
As for the Chicken stock, you can replace this with vegetable stock, or even just water if you prefer, but I find that the Chicken stock adds a nice umami depth that the other two do not.
The Basic Method
First, heat the butter in a pot over moderately high heat and then add the cardamom pods, the cinnamon stick and the almonds. Stir frequently until the almonds take on a nice toasty brown color, but be careful here as they can go from brown to burnt very quickly.
Now add the rice and the salt and stir until all the rice grains are all coated and just beginning to toast ever so slightly. Add the Turmeric paste and stir in well.
Add the stock and the apricots and allow the stock to come to a boil. Cover the pot, turn the heat down to low and then let the rice cook for 15 minutes. Finally, stir in the peas, cover the pot once again, and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff up the rice and serve.
By the way, you can fish out the Cinnamon stick and Cardamom pods from the rice before serving, if you prefer. I generally leave these in, but I will advise diners of the presence, and number, of the latter.
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Spiced Apricot Almond Rice
- 1 cup long grain Rice
- 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock or water
- ½ cup frozen green Peas
- 3 tbsp. Butter
- 1 tbsp. Turmeric Paste or Powdered Turmeric
- 1 pinch Salt
- 4 tbsp. slivered Almonds
- 6 dried Apricots sliced thinly
- 4 Green Cardamom pods
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- Heat the butter in a pot over moderately high heat, add the cardamom pods, the cinnamon stick and the almonds, and stir frequently until the almonds take on a toasty brown color.
- Add the rice and the salt and stir until all the grains are coated, then add the Turmeric paste, or powder.
- Add the stock, or water, and the apricots and allow everything to come to a boil.
- Cover the pot, turn the heat down to low, and then let the rice cook for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the peas, cover again, and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes.
- Fluff up the rice and serve.