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Fruited Rice Pilaf with Pine Nuts

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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. It is a dish I sometimes make when I’m taking a main course out of the freezer. This rice recipe does take a few extra minutes compared to plain steamed rice but once in awhile it’s worth the effort.

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. I think 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. If you are interested I wrote a few tips about storing spices in this post on Paneer in Fragrant Gravy.

From Everyday to Gourmet for Rice Side Dishes 

I love rice and for entertaining I have many recipes for special rice. These are recipes that capture the flavours of cuisines from around the world and they are almost always naturally gluten free. As well as this Indian Fruited Rice Pilaf some of the other favourites in my house are:

Cook Once, Eat Twice

Do you use the Cook Once, Eat Twice strategy? Everyday life is busy so homemade dinner needs to be something you think is important. Everyone enjoys eating out but the healthiest food is most often what you are cooking at home. Dishes you cook using real food…not packaged, processed, food-like items.

When I make Tandoori Chicken I try to make a double recipe, half for dinner and half to put in the freezer. I prefer to freeze it raw so I have another fresh from the oven meal…so technically I am cooking twice. But for me it is a system that works. The other option is to cook enough so you have a second dinner for the freezer. Label it and you are done!

So don’t wait until you have company to enjoy this Fruited Rice Pilaf. Give it a try some night when you have the other parts of your meal already made. Kids love it and so do I.

Let me know in the comments below if you added some new spices to your collection and how you liked the rice.


1½ 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.


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