By Marnely Rodriguez-Murray | November 29, 2012

Once the holidays start rolling in, my mind goes to rice. Whenever we had a family holiday dinner, there was always rice. The yellow rice with raisins and almonds, which to be fully honest, I wasn’t a fan of. The yellow color of the rice was surely artificial and I only like raisins as a snack, not in my rice. This rice recipe stirs up from that holiday rice served at my family table, this time with great spices and better dried fruits (at least in my opinion…sorry, Grandma!)

This version includes powdered turmeric and Aleppo pepper for spices; plump dried prunes and chewy dates add texture and nutrients; the rice is infused with cardamom pods and cinnamon, which make your home smell glorious while it’s cooking.

Serve this as the perfect side dish to a holiday meal, bringing color and texture to the table. You can substitute the prunes and dates for any dried fruit you have on hand: apricots, mangoes, and even dried pineapple would work perfectly in this dish.

Photos: Marnely Rodriguez-Murray

Turmeric and Dried Fruit Spiced Rice Recipe

Servings: 2


  • 1/2 cup basmati rice (or any long grain rice)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp powdered turmeric
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cardamom pods, crushed
  • half of a small cinnamon stick
  • 3 prunes , diced
  • 3 dried dates , diced
  • 1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • fresh pomegranate arils


1. Place rice, water, turmeric, and salt in a small pot. Place over medium high heat and cook until water evaporates.

2. When water evaporates, add cardamom pods and cinnamon stick. Cover and cook for 10 more minutes, until rice is tender.

3. While rice is still warm, fold in prunes, dates and Aleppo pepper. When ready to serve, sprinkle rice with fresh pomegranate arils.

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