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Jeweled Rice

Fragrant and colorful, our easy jeweled rice recipe makes a stunning gem of a side dish, dressing up everything from a simple roast chicken to a full-on Middle Eastern feast.


jeweled rice in a bowl yellow rice with nuts and dried fruit and herbs

Jeweled Rice: The Most Beautiful Way To Brighten Any Meal

Gorgeous and truly bejeweled with a host of colorful pieces of dried fruit and fresh orange peel, jeweled rice brings a brilliant ray of sunshine to the dinner table. In Iran, jeweled rice—or javaher polow—is traditionally served at weddings and other, similarly blow-out celebrations and we can see why! The dazzling, gem-like colors of the fruits and nuts dotting a pot of generously spiced rice, tinted yellow from the turmeric, just feels so festive. But, just because it’s often served as part of a once-in-a-lifetime feast doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to only making it sometimes. We’ve found that jeweled rice goes with so many things! Its sweetness and warm spice brings a lot of excitement to otherwise simple meals, making it ideal for serving to company, or even just your own household on a night that calls for a meal that’s just a bit more exciting than spaghetti.

a bowl of dried fruit next to a bowl of nuts for jeweled rice
jeweled rice, yellow rice with herbs, dried fruit and nuts

What’s In Jeweled Rice?

In our jeweled rice recipe, we’ve made some allowances in favor of using ingredients that are easily available—in other words, we’re skipping the dried barberries that are a traditional ingredient in Persian jeweled rice. These tart little dried berries are a classic jeweled rice ingredient, but they can be hard to find. Instead, we used a blend of dried fruits called the Traina Foods All-American blend, which has sun-dried peaches, dried apples, dried cranberries, golden raisins, and dried blueberries. Plenty of sweet, colorful, tart jewels, no wild goose chases! Here’s everything you’ll need to make this easy jeweled rice recipe:

  • Orange zest
  • Sugar
  • Raw pistachios
  • Sliced almonds
  • Shallot
  • Basmati rice
  • Spices: turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, allspice
  • A blend of your favorite dried fruits
jeweled rice with dried fruit and nuts

How To Make Jeweled Rice

So, when we say this is an easy jeweled rice recipe, we do mean it! But it’s not zero work. If you’re looking for zero work, plain steamed rice is probably a better way to go. But for just a bit of work—not a ton—you can have a really show-stopping side dish. Our jeweled rice recipe is also a bit easier than most, and the payoff is certainly worth the effort. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Candy the orange peel. Boil the zest in sugar water, drain.
  2. Dry-toast the almonds and pistachios until slightly golden.
  3. Sauté shallots, then add the basmati rice to the shallots and sauté.
  4. Time for spices! Add the salt, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, allspice to the pan.
  5. Pour in water and the orange peels, and bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in the dried fruit and nuts.
  8. Pop the lid back on for 10 more minutes.
  9. Serve!
jeweled rice with dried fruit and nuts in a large pot
jeweled rice with dried fruit and nuts in a bowl with parsley

What To Serve With Jeweled Rice

A dish this complex in flavor doesn’t go with everything, but it is more versatile than you might imagine. With its bright colors and textures, not to mention that lovely hint of sweetness, it’s an easy partner for simply cooked foods or, of course, many Middle Eastern dishes. We think it’d be lovely served with:

Tools You’ll Need:

jeweled rice in a bowl with dried cranberries, pistachios and almonds with parsley

A Side Dish Fit for Royalty

And also everyone else! If you make our jeweled rice recipe, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

This sponsored post is written by TMP on behalf of Traina Foods. The opinions and text are all ours. Thank you for supporting the brands we love.

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Jeweled Rice

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  45 min
  • Calories: 319


  • 1 orange
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup raw pistachios, unsalted, shelled, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 6 oz dried fruit such as cranberries and raisins
  • chopped parsley for serving


  1. Using a citrus stripper, vegetable peeler or sharp knife remove the zest from the orange (taking care to just get the orange part and not the white part, which will be too bitter). If using a knife or vegetable peeler, slice the zest into thin srips. Add it to a small saucepan along with 1 cup of water and ⅓ cup sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 7-10 minutes, drain and set aside.
  2. In a 3 quart dutch oven or soup pot, set over medium heat, dry toast the almonds and pistachios until slightly golden about 5 minutes. Remove from pan, set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in the same pot. Add the shallots and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the rinsed rice to the shallots and sauté until opaque, about 2-3 minutes. Add the salt, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and allspice to the pan and sauté for 1 minute, until fragrant. Pour 4 cups of water over the rice mixture and stir in the orange peels. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and cook for 20 minutes until rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Once cooked, remove from heat and add the dried fruit and nuts. Put lid back on and allow to rest for 10 more minutes. Serve warm topped with fresh parsley.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories319
  • Protein3 g
  • Carbohydrates56 g
  • Total Fat10 g
  • Dietary Fiber4 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium368 mg
  • Total Sugars31 g

Jeweled Rice

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jenn

    My family loved this! The crunch from the nuts is so wonderful! I served it with some baked chicken and broccoli.

    Thank Jenn, glad you liked it!