Apricot, almond and pomegranate rice pilaf

The dried apricots and dates add a lovely honeyed sweetness to this dish but the sweetness is offset by the robustness of the fried onion and garlic, and the cumin, coriander and turmeric used to flavour the rice. This dish would make a fantastic side to grilled lamb or fish. Either way, serve it with a plain green salad and tzatziki (cucumber yoghurt dip) for a quick and delicious meal.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 200 grams dried apricots, left whole or quartered
  • 80g pitted dates, left whole or halved
  • 40g pepitas
  • ¼ bunch fresh coriander
  • Seeds from ½ pomegranate
  • 100g flaked almonds


  1. Heat up a large non-stick frypan or pot.
  2. Add butter and margarine until sizzling.
  3. Add onion and cook over medium heat for a minute or two and then add rice, turmeric, cumin and coriander.
  4. Cook, stirring regularly for around 4 minutes.
  5. Add garlic, stock, apricots and dates and then add the lid and bring to the boil.
  6. Once boiling turn down the heat as low as possible and cook for 20-25 minutes (with the lid on) until rice is cooked through.
  7. To serve, turn out into a bowl, fluff up the rice and then garnish with pepitas, coriander, pomegranate and almonds.