Jeweled Golden Rice

Jeweled Golden Rice

Inspired by a classic Persian recipe, this eye-catching fruit- and nut-studded rice dish goes well with roast poultry or pork. Here, the colorful “jewels” are fresh and dried cherries, chopped celery, green onion and mixed nuts. The dish is prepared ahead, making it very convenient for entertaining. Recipe by Nancy Baggett.

From EatingWell: June/July 2006
Yield: 8 servings, 3/4 cup each
Active Time: 30
Total Time: 130


  1. 1 cup brown basmati rice
  2. 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  3. 1/3 cup water
  4. 1 tablespoon mild or hot curry powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  6. 1 generous pinch finely crumbled saffron threads (see Note)
  7. 3 tablespoons canola oil
  8. 1/3 cup lemon juice
  9. 3 tablespoons honey
  10. 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  11. 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  12. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  13. 2 cups chopped celery
  14. 3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
  15. 1/2 cup chopped scallions or chives, divided
  16. 1 cup fresh dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
  17. 3/4 cup unsalted mixed nuts, preferably pistachios, almonds and cashews, chopped, divided


  1. Combine rice, broth, water, curry powder, turmeric and saffron in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir once, cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes more. Fluff with a fork.
  2. Combine oil, lemon juice, honey, orange zest, ginger and salt in a large, nonreactive bowl (see Note). Stir in the cooked rice, celery, dried cherries and 1/4 cup scallions (or chives). Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
  3. To serve, fold fresh cherries and 1/2 cup mixed nuts into the rice mixture. Serve at room temperature, garnished with the remaining 1/4 cup scallions (or chives) and mixed nuts.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • Notes: Considered the world's most expensive spice, saffron contributes a pungent flavor and intense yellow color. It is sold in threads and powdered form.
  • A nonreactive pan—stainless steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking acidic foods, such as lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart an off color and/or off flavor in acidic foods.


Nutrition Per Serving: 288 calories; 12 g fat (1 g sat, 7 g mono); 1 mg cholesterol; 41 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 5 g fiber; 125 mg sodium; 238 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (15% daily value).

2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fruit, 1 other carbohydrate, 2 fat