Jeweled Rice Pilaf

Several weeks back I won a cookbook in a giveaway hosted by Cajun Chef Ryan. I was excited to receive the book as it was a brand new one from Emeril Lagasse called Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders that hit the bookstores on September 27, 2011. Chef Ryan was one of 20 bloggers chosen to participate in the One-Pot Blogger Cooking Party to celebrate the release of this cookbook.

This is my first Emeril cookbook and I am really impressed with it. I love one pot meals and this cookbook has over 130 recipes from all over the world. Interestingly, the recipes are grouped by cooking vessels which range from skillets and casseroles to slow cookers. There is even a section on woks with Asian flavors. Many has bold and hearty flavors, perfect for this time of the year.

Before we move on to the recipe, I would like to tell you a little about my first Foodbuzz friend, Chef Ryan. He has over 35 years of cooking experience with 21 in the restaurant industry and is currently developing a line of artisan spice mixes, sauces, and dressings for future marketing and mass production. He also has 9 years of experience in information technology and is a regular contributor to TechRepublic. Be sure to visit his blog, Cajun Chef Ryan, for amazing recipes and cooking tips!

One of the first recipes in the cookbook that caught my eye was Roasted Pork Chops with Jeweled Rice Pilaf. I did not make the pork chops and cooked the pilaf on the stove instead of in the oven. I used up the little homemade ghee I had left and changed some of the spices and ingredients with what I had on hand. This fragrant and tasty rice makes a lovely side dish. It can definitely stand on its own if you are not big on meat. For a simpler version, do check out my Saffron Pistachio Pilaf.

Jeweled Rice Pilaf
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
  • ⅛ tsp saffron
  • 2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, diced
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups (400g) basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup (40g) dates, pitted and diced
  • ¼ cup (40g) dried apricots, diced
  • ¼ cup (40g) golden raisins
  • 2½ cups (360ml) chicken stock
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup (30g) sliced almonds, toasted
  1. Soak saffron in 2 tbsp warm water and let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat ghee in a large pot. Sauté onions and carrots until soft, about 2 minutes. Add allspice, cumin seeds, lemon pepper, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add basmati rice, dates, apricots, and golden raisins. Stir to mix well. Pour in saffron mixture and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, season with salt.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Turn heat down to the lowest setting and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat and remove pot. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Dish onto plate and garnish with toasted almonds. Serve immediately.

Disclaimer: Although this cookbook was sent to me for free, I was not obligated to write this post nor did I receive any monetary compensation for this write up. What was written are my personal thoughts and view. For full disclaimer, please click here.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎

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  1. says

    Hello Biren,
    This is one of the recipes that I did make during the blog party, but I do look forward to making soon.

    Your version and the photos look so good, I am now ready to eat some lunch, you are making me so hungry! Love the slivered almonds, and the apricots, dates, and raisins! Wow!

    Bon appetit!

    • Biren says

      This rice dish was delicious! I will definitely make it again. My boys like it with a piece of meat but I can just eat it on its own. Thank you for hosting the giveaway! I really enjoy the cookbook. :)

  2. says

    Hi Biren-I have made a much similar rice like this years ago…never really knew the exact recipe, or the name, but the “jeweled” title has got me!
    You really take much pride in every dish, and dessert you make. So “bedazzling” and gorgeous, not to mention how delicious your pilaf must be!
    Love the presentation, and the lovely photos! Also love your new profile photo. You look so beautiful with your new hair style, and relaxed look, and smile (minus the shades)…which made you look like an “undercover detective”

    Hope you can make it to the next Blogger Festival, so I could meet up with you in person. I did not expect all the generosity that Foodbuzz, and their hosts had to offer, with all the amazing foods, and gifts. A huge success!

    • Biren says

      Thanks Elisabeth! It is always fun to dress up the dish with fine china and cutlery which will otherwise remain in the hutch. I am glad you like my new profile picture. 😀 Would love to meet up with you sometime.

  3. says

    Biren, your pilaf is gorgeous. Your boys like the dried fruit in it? I don’t think I could get that past my daughter. I love the clay dish it is in too. I love clay cookware and dishes too. The cookbook sounds very interesting with all the vessels that is uses to cook in…what fun! I agree with Elisabeth and have been meaning to mention how much I like your new photo, but was afraid I was way late on the boat to mention it. So good to see your eyes you’re beautiful!

    • Biren says

      My boys eat pretty much everything I put on the table and they have no problems with dried fruits. They do, however, need some kind of meat to accompany every meal. Yes, I do like cooking with claypots. They keep the heat in and the food moist. They are also so rustic and pretty to look at. Aww…thank you so much for your compliment! You are making me blush. :)

  4. says

    Perhaps probability has its own reason why among the many prospective winners, you were chosen to receive the cookbook — I believe this is because destiny knows you’ll make good use of it. This is a great recipe. Thanks for sharing this with us. As such, we’ll come out as winners too. Keep posting!

  5. says

    WOW! This does look good! I also won one of these cookbooks, but I totally missed this recipe. After seeing your dish, I’m definitely have to make it now!

  6. says

    I could have sworn I left a comment about this but can’t find it – must have meant to but never did! I love the amazing flavours and colours and can imagine it would go very nicely with several different sorts of dishes, even some fish. I often throw sultanas in my rice, sometimes prunes, and am planning something similar, using apricot and pomegranate, to go with duck. Beautiful photos and I absolutely covet that bowl!

    • Biren says

      I do like flavored rice and cook it often. A duck dish would go nicely with this rice. That would be lovely for the upcoming holidays. That Polish bowl was a Christmas gift from hubby. :)

  7. says

    Hi Biren – lunch is a little late today and the pictures of your jewelled pilaf is making my stomach fold in hunger *owwww* This is truly beautiful – I can imagine how it would taste right now with some roasted or curried lamb, and maybe some acar on the side *aiyoh*


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