Aromatic Arabian Rice: A Fragrant Journey To The Middle East

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Craving a flavorful and aromatic rice dish that transports you to the heart of Arabia? Look no further than this authentic Arabian Rice recipe! This fragrant and fluffy rice is a staple in many Arabian kitchens, often served alongside grilled meats, stews, and roasted vegetables. Packed with warming spices and nuts, it’s a delightful side dish that adds a touch of elegance to any meal.


Arabic Rice
Arabic Rice

(Serves 4-6)

2 cups basmati rice, rinsed well

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, or a mix)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
  • Salt to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Prep the Rice: In a large bowl, rinse the basmati rice thoroughly with cold water until the water runs clear. Set it aside to drain for at least 15 minutes. This step removes excess starch, resulting in fluffy, separate rice grains.

    2. Sauté the Aromatics: Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another minute, allowing the garlic to release its fragrance.

    3. Spice Up the Base: Add the ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves (if using) to the pot. Stir well to coat the onions and garlic in the spices. Cook for about 30 seconds, allowing the spices to bloom and release their warm, earthy aromas.

    4. Bring on the Broth: Pour in the vegetable broth and bring it to a simmer. Season with salt to taste. Be mindful of the saltiness of the broth, as you can always add more later but can’t take it away.

    5. Rice Time: Add the rinsed basmati rice to the simmering broth. Stir gently to combine, then scrape down the sides of the pot to ensure even cooking. Bring the pot back to a simmer.

    6. The Steam Method: Cover the pot tightly with a lid. Reduce heat to low and let the rice simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and all the liquid has been absorbed. Avoid peeking or lifting the lid during this time, as this can disrupt the steaming process and result in unevenly cooked rice.

    7. Fluff and Toast: Once the cooking time is complete, remove the pot from the heat and let it stand covered for another 5 minutes. This allows the rice to steam further and absorb any remaining moisture. Then, fluff the rice gently with a fork to separate the grains.

    8. Final Touches: Stir in the chopped nuts and golden raisins. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Garnish with fresh parsley for a pop of color and freshness.


    For a richer flavor, you can substitute the olive oil with ghee (clarified butter) commonly used in Arabian cuisine.

  • If you prefer a vegetarian option, swap the vegetable broth with chicken broth for a deeper umami flavor.
  • Experiment with different nut and dried fruit combinations. Chopped cashews, dried cranberries, or apricots would be delicious alternatives.

  • Nutrition Facts (per serving)

    This recipe is a good source of carbohydrates, providing energy for your day. It also contains healthy fats from the olive oil and nuts, keeping you feeling satisfied. Here’s an approximate nutritional breakdown (based on using vegetable broth):

    Calories: 300

  • Fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sodium: (depends on the amount of salt used)

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional guide. The actual values may vary depending on the specific ingredients used and their brands.


    This Arabian Rice recipe is a delightful way to explore the vibrant flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine. Packed with aromatic spices, crunchy nuts, and sweet raisins, it’s a side dish that elevates any meal.

    The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity. With a handful of pantry staples and basic cooking techniques, you can create a restaurant-worthy side dish right at home. So, gather your ingredients, unleash your inner chef, and embark on a culinary adventure to the heart of Arabia!