Rice with Dried Fruits and Nuts

Makes 4-6 servings as a side dish.

This recipe is an adaptation of a Middle Eastern fragrant rice dish with a touch of sweet and sour taste. The rice pairs well with poultry and meat.  



  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Jasmine white rice
  • 1generous cup water
  • 8 dried apricot halves, cut into thin strips
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries.
  • ½ cup pistachios, toasted
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt


  1. In a small dish, combine the spices and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan with a cover. Add the onion and sauté covered, over low heat, until onion is soft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the spices and the rice. Stir until well coated.  Add the water, bring to a boil over high heat, lower the heat and simmer covered for 15- 20 minutes. The rice should be soft and the water absorbed (if the rice is not soft and the water is absorbed, add a tablespoon or two of hot water).
  4. In the meantime, in a small skillet heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, add the dried fruit and the nuts and sauté over very low heat for 2 minutes.
  5. When the rice is ready add the fruits, nuts, and lemon zest. Combine well and season to taste with salt.