How many rice recipes do you know? I am sure quite a few. Well, here’s a brand new one that is delicious and nutritious as well: Basmati rice with apricots and almonds. This recipe is awesome; it’s actually an adaptation from one of Goya’s recipes. What makes it so totally fabulous is the use of basmati rice which has a unique flavor and aroma. Actually, the name basmati comes from a Sanskrit word: vasmati, meaning fragrant. India is the largest producer of basmati rice.
Basmati rice lends itself to both savory and sweet flavorings. This basmati rice with apricots and almonds is a great mixture of flavors. The almonds add a nice crunch,while onions and the chicken broth provide the savory component; the apricots and the dates add that lovely sweetness that really rounds up all the flavors.
You can serve this lovely basmati rice with apricots and almonds with your favorite meat or even fish. Really, it goes well with everything. In Panama, where I grew up we have a similar rice dish that is usually served at festive occasions, think Christmas. But why wait? I think a rice dish like this one should be enjoyed more often than that, don’t you?
Okay, so this is a blog that celebrates not only ethnic dishes but also the origin of foods. Having said this, I just want to point out that this is really a very international dish, and this is why: Almonds are thought to have originated in either China or Central Asia. Apricots, once referred to as Moons of the Faithful” are thought to have come from China where they were cultivated as far back as 4,000 years ago. Dates? Well, they are an ancient food indeed, and one which many ancient cultures such as the Greek, Romans and Phoenicians revered. And of course there’s basmati rice, which as I mentioned earlier in this post is original to India. Wow! isn’t this cool?
By the way, I used quite a few Goya products for this recipe, since they were kind enough to send me a box with various items. Imagine my delight when I saw the Goya basmati rice, the Goya extra virgin olive oil, and of course the Sazon Goya with Saffron, one of my favorites because of the absolutely beautiful and intense yellow color that it gives the rice, not to mention the hint of saffron which I adore. I actually use this seasoning for many other Latin American dishes I make at home. My family loves it. Needless to say, when I got this box in the mail I couldn’t wait to get cooking. And here we are. I hope you enjoy this basmati rice with apricots and almonds. I know my family and I certainly did!
Basmati Rice with Apricots and Almonds
Aromatic basmati rice is flavored with the sweetness of almonds and apricots. The perfect side dish for a roast or grilled meats.
- In a pan heat the oil and quickly brown the almonds.
- Remove almonds from pan and set aside.
- Quickly add the onion and saute until translucent.
- Add the rice to the onions and turn over a few times until the rice is slightly golden.
- Add chicken broth, water, salt, Goya sazon, cardamom, apricots and dates.
- Turn down heat, cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Top with almonds.