This Instant Pot Holiday Jeweled Rice is the perfect Vegetarian Side dish for any Holiday party. It's nutty, colorful and makes for a great centerpiece at any dinner.
Can't believe December is rolling by so fast. Holiday spirit is in the air and I am in the middle of the frenzy too with online and in-store shopping 🙂 So this week's Blogging Marathon theme is perfect for this time of the year. 'Instant dishes' are what we all want to cope with the holiday stress.
Today I have an Instant Pot Holiday Jeweled Rice recipe that is perfect to actually make during the holidays. Instant pot(s) has sure taken over my kitchen recently. I was hesitant to use it couple of years ago but now my Indian pressure cookers have been retired and IPs are ruling the kitchen.
Instant Pot Holiday Jeweled Rice:
Today's recipe is my version of Bon Appetit's Bejeweled rice. I have made that dish countless times in the past 2 years. It is a total crowd pleaser. Very pretty and also very tasty. To make things quick, easy and instant, I used the instant pot to make this dish.
What is Jeweled Rice?
Jeweled rice is called that because it is studded with nuts and pretty dry fruit. It is buttery and laced with the aromatic spices. It is a very popular side dish in the middle east and is typically served for weddings and other celebrations.
Layers & Toppings in Holiday Jeweled Rice:
The main layer is spiced, buttery long grain rice. Ground cardamom, cinnamon are spices that are widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine. Ground turmeric gives the rice a lovely yellow color. Orange zest gives nice fruity flavor to the dish.
Toasted almonds and pistachios along with dried fruit add nuttiness and slight sweetness. Perfectly cooked carrot slices add color and deliciousness.
Tips for making the rice:
Toppings can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Toasted nuts can be stored in an airtight container. Cooked carrots can be stored in the fridge for 2 days. On the day of the party, just cook the rice in the instant pot and jazz it up with the toppings and serve.
This is a great side dish to serve with any main course, vegetarian or non-vegetarian. So go ahead make this for your next holiday party - I am sure it is going to be a hit. Serve with a rich paneer curry for an Indian dinner.
Instant Pot Holiday Jeweled Rice Recipe
Topping for Holiday Jeweled Rice:
- ¼ cup Pistachios
- ¼ tsp Slivered Almonds
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 2 Medium Carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
- 1 tsp Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- ¼ cup Dried Cherries or cranberries or raisins or a mix
For the Rice:
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 4 Scallions, white & green parts, thinly sliced
- 1 Small Onion, finely chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 cups Long grain Rice (I used Basmati rice), rinsed and drained
- ½~1 tsp Crushed red chili flakes (adjust as per taste)
- ¾ tsp Ground Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Ground Cardamom
- ½ tsp Ground Turmeric
- 2 tbsp Orange zest
- To taste Salt & Pepper
- 2½ cups Water
- 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
Prep the Toppings:
- Heat the Instant Pot on 'Saute' mode. Add the pistachios, almonds and saute till tightly toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove the toasted nuts into a bowl and set aside.
- Heat 1tbsp oil in the pot, add the carrots and cook, stirring frequently until they are fork tender, about 4~5 minutes. Add the sugar and salt. Mix well and remove from the pot. Set aside.
Make the Instant Pot Rice:
- Heat the remaining 2tbsp oil in the pot. Add the scallions, onions and garlic and saute till they turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the drained rice along with the spices (crushed red pepper, ground cinnamon, cardamom), turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook till the rice turns opaque, about 2~3 minutes.
- Add the water, orange zest - mix well. Press 'Cancel' on the instant pot. Next set it on Pressure cook/ manual for 5 minutes. Close the lid and make sure that the pressure valve is set to 'sealing'.
- Naturally let the pressure down. Add the butter and gently fork the rice to separate the grains.
- Spread the rice onto the serving platter. Top with the toasted nuts, carrots, dried fruit and green part of the scallions.