Fruited Rice Pilaf with pine nuts.


Fruited Rice Pilaf with Pine Nuts is a delicious rice dish that can be served as part of any Indian meal. This is what I call special rice. This rice recipe does take a few extra minutes compared to plain steamed rice but once in awhile it’s worth the effort. I would definitely make it for company but sometimes I make it as a treat when I’m taking a main course out of the freezer so I have a few extra minutes.

East Indian Spices for Fruited Rice Pilaf

If you enjoy East Indian cooking or want to do more of it you may need to add to your spice collection. Having an extensive spice collection is part of the adventure of cooking. Certain foods and their unique combination of spices can transport you anywhere in the world. You can find some tips for storing spices in this post, Paneer in Fragrant Gravy.

PIN for later…

Fruited Rice Pilaf with Pine Nuts and whole spices.

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Special Rice Dishes 

I love rice in many forms and I have a handful of recipes that I refer to as ‘special rice’. These are recipes that capture the flavours of cuisines from around the world and they would typically be naturally gluten free. Here’s the list of my other ‘special rice’ dishes.

Cook Once, Eat Twice Strategy

As often as I can I use a Cook Once, Eat Twice strategy. Everyday life is busy so it takes planning to get homemade meals on the table on a regular basis. We all like to have other people cook for us but the healthiest choice usually means cooking from scratch. Dishes with real food from the grocery store.

When I make Tandoori Chicken I try to make a double recipe, half for dinner and half to put in the freezer. Sometimes it goes in the freezer fully cooked to just thaw and heat. Other times I freeze the raw meat in the marinade. It marinates as it freezes and again as it thaws plus I get a delicious hot meal out of the oven.

Freezer Tip – If you add the words, ‘make with fruited rice pilaf’ right on the label it just might happen.

I hope you’ll give this Fruited Rice Pilaf a try, who knows, it might become one of a favourite ‘special rice’ in your house. Let me know in the comments below if you added some new spices to your collection and how you liked this rice dish.

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Fruited Rice Pilaf with Pine Nuts

Fruited Rice Pilaf with Pine Nuts is a delicious rice dish that can be served as part of any Indian meal. This is what I call 'special rice'.
Author: Cinde Little
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: East Indian
Keyword: Fruited Rice Pilaf with Pine Nuts


  • cups basmati rice*
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ cup thinly sliced onion
  • 14 oz can fruit cocktail, drained**
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts (or pistachios)


  • Bring rice and water to boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Dry roast pine nuts over medium-low heat in a small pan until you can smell them toasting, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • While rice is cooking heat oil on medium-high heat in sauté pan.
  • Add cardamom pods, whole cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon. Sizzle for 30 seconds.
  • Add onion and cook stirring for 6-8 minutes until light brown.
  • Add fruit and increase heat. Cook, shaking the pan, until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  • Sprinkle sugar over fruit and cook another minute until sugar melts and glazes the fruit.
  • Add fruit and nuts to rice and stir. Remove bay leaf if desired. Cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon are not to be eaten but look nice in the serving dish.


*I sometimes make only 1 cup of rice and combine it with the full recipe of fruit and nuts.
**I’ve tried many combinations of fresh fruit but the canned fruit looks nicest.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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