Bejeweled Basmati Rice perfect for the holidays!

Serves 4 as a side dish

Bejeweled Basmati Rice
Bejeweled Basmati Rice

This bejeweled rice is truly a feast for the senses! The aroma of the Basmati rice cooking with the spices, wafts through the kitchen, the decked up rice pulav is a treat for the eyes, the crispy crunch of the vegetables and apple add to the texture  and all this going on together….. makes the taste buds dance with glee!

 Many years ago, during a trip to India, my parents took us to a restaurant famous for Kashmiri Pulav. I loved the vegetable and fruit combination in the pulav and our son, who was little then, loved the pulav’s mild taste and the fruit in it. My mom, being the amazing cook that she was, deciphered the recipe for me and I have been making it ever since.

The brussels sprouts and  dried cranberries are my recent substitutions because I love their taste. In Indian pulavs the vegetables are generally green beans, green peas, carrots and cauliflower. Any vegetables of your choice could be added to this versatile rice dish.

 Either way, this easy to make bejeweled rice will be a hit during the holiday season! Plus, it can be made in advance and reheated. So less time in the kitchen when your guest arrive!


  • 1/2 cup Basmati rice, washed, drained and set aside.
  • 3 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 3 ½ teaspoons oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt ( omit if there is salt in the stock)
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 4 cloves, divided
  • 1 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 2 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into slices
  • 10 brussels sprouts. I used frozen brussels sprouts from Trader Joes, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon dried pineapple tidbits
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries. I used Ocean Spray craisins
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1/2 of a red apple, cored and cut into bite size pieces
  • salt according to taste

To make the Basmati rice-

  1. In a 2 quart saucepan, heat the water or stock with 1/2 teaspoon of the oil,1/2 teaspoon of salt,  peppercorns, 2 of the cloves and the cinnamon stick. When the water comes to a boil, add the washed and drained rice and stir well. When it comes to a boil again, lower heat to medium and let the rice cook until done, about 10 minutes. Strain the excess water out of the rice and set aside to drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the 2 ½ teaspoons of oil and the ghee in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the 2 remaining cloves, cardamom and the bay leaf. Fry for a few seconds and add the sliced onion. Stir fry until the onion begins to caramelize. Add the carrot and stir for about 30 seconds or so. I like to keep the carrot crispy. If you want it soft cooked, let the carrot cook a little longer.
  3. Add the Brussels sprouts, pineapple tidbits, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, apple and salt. Toss well and heat it through. Remove from heat. Add the cooked  rice, fluff with a fork and serve! This rice also goes very well with quick and easy to make Veggie meatballs in curry sauce.


  •  I leave the whole spices in the rice. But if you do not want to, remove them before serving.
  • This rice can be made in advance and reheats very well.

Wishing you all a very Happy weekend!




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