Want to make your house smell seriously good? Just make this rice pilaf.
The scent of jasmine rice alone makes my mouth water, but add a few spices and it’s absolutely intoxicating. This lightly flavored and vibrantly hued rice pilaf is based off of my favorite Yellow Jasmine Rice recipe, but with a slightly more subtle flavor, a few bits of dried fruit for sweetness, and some chopped cashews for texture. I skipped the chicken broth this time around to achieve a slightly lighter flavor and make it vegetarian. If you want to vegan-ize this recipe, simply sub coconut oil for the butter!
Jasmine rice is a major part of the flavor here, so don’t be tempted to use regular white rice. It’s just not the same. To find the best price on jasmine rice, visit an Asian market or check the Asian section of your local grocery store. I often find big 5lb. bags of jasmine rice at the grocery store (even Walmart) for about $6. Sometimes it’s on the bottom shelf in the regular rice aisle or even the bulk food bins.
And yes, yes you CAN freeze this beautiful, delicious rice! :D
Cashew Rice Pilaf
Cashew Rice Pilaf
- 2 Tbsp butter ($0.20)
- 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp cumin ($0.05)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon ($0.03)
- 2 cups uncooked jasmine rice ($0.88)
- 1/2 cup chopped cashews ($1.68)
- 1/4 cup dried fruit raisins, cranberries or chopped apricots ($0.38)
- 3 cups water ($0.00)
- 3/4 tsp salt ($0.03)
- 1 whole bay leaf ($0.15)
- 1/4 bunch cilantro (optional) ($0.19)
- Place the butter, minced garlic, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon in a medium sauce pot. Turn the heat on to medium-low, then stir and cook the butter and spices for about 2 minutes.
- Add the dry rice, turn the heat up to medium, and cook and stir for about two minutes more. You should hear the rice crackling a little. Finally, add the cashews, dried fruit, water, salt, and bay leaf to the pot. Stir briefly to combine the ingredients.
- Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow the pot to come to a full boil. As soon as the pot reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and allow the pot to simmer lightly for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the heat off and allow it to sit for 15 minutes more. Do not remove the lid at all during the cooking process.
- After the pot has rested with the heat off for 15 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Roughly chop the cilantro and gently stir it into the rice. Serve hot.
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Step by Step Photos
Start with the butter, minced garlic, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon in the bottom of a medium pot. Turn the heat on to medium-low and let the butter melt…
Stir and cook this mixture for about two minutes.
Add the dry jasmine rice, kick the heat up to medium, and continue to stir and cook for about two minutes more. You’ll hear the rice crackling a little as it toasts.
Measure out 1/2 cup of cashew pieces and 1/4 cup dried fruit. I intended to use raisins for this recipe, but then saw that Ocean Spray “craisins” were on sale for $1.50 per bag (1 cup bag), so I went with that instead. You could also use dried apricots chopped into small pieces. I bought the cashews from the bulk food bins and noticed that the “cashew pieces” were a couple dollars less per pound than the whole cashews, which was perfect because I planned on chopping them up anyway! If you get whole cashews, make sure to chop them so that you get a little piece in every bite instead of one big chunk every now and then.
Add the cashews, cranberries, water, salt, and bay leaf to the pot. Stir briefly to make sure everything is combined then place a lid on top and turn the heat up to high. As soon as the pot reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer lightly for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest undisturbed for another 15 minutes.
Then it will look like this. Most of the goodies will have floated up to the top, so you’ll want to fluff it up with a fork to mix it up some…
Roughly chop some cilantro and then gently fold it into the rice.
So freaking good…