30 minute golden rice pilaf uses just a handful of basic ingredients to create an exotic, nourishing, and deeply comforting side dish. There is SO much to love about this rice: It’s 30 minute time stamp, abundant nutritional properties, and the way it can make dinner feel instantly fancy. It had every taster in my house leaning over the stove going in for “just one more bite” long after dinner had concluded.
Turmeric imbues this dish with a deep golden glow, plus anti-inflammatory properties. Preliminary research suggests that curcumin, the bright yellow polyphenol compound found in the spice, may even promote weight loss, lower risk of heart disease, and improve blood sugar control.
This dish also gets a big antioxidant boost from pomegranate arils, plus a probiotic punch from yogurt. So it’s fair to say that this rice can make you feel as bright and cheery as it looks. The complex flavor belies in its simple preparation, and there are a couple tricks to add instant layers of savory depth to this simple side. The first is sizzling the turmeric in oil and aromatics like onions and garlic to really develop its earthy, peppery spice. It’s also important to toast the rice, as you would in risotto, to draw out fragrance and add nuttiness.
If you’re spice-averse, feel free to leave out the chile or swap it for diced red bell pepper. However, the cooling yogurt topper does temper the spice and bring a sense of balance to the dish. Add baked salmon, sautéed shrimp, roasted chicken, or crispy tofu on top to turn this one-pan side into a full meal. Rounding it out with fresh baked naan is never a bad idea, either.
An impressive dish that’s quickly prepared whenever you’re short on time and guaranteed to add a layer of decadence to any weeknight.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 small Fresno chile, seeded and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup white Jasmine rice
- 2 cups lower-sodium vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup pomegranate arils
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup fresh chopped basil, mint, or cilantro
- 3 Tbsp. plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. honey
- Heat oil in a large sauté pan with a fitted lid over medium heat. Add shallot, chile, and garlic; cook 2 minutes, until softened. Add turmeric, cumin, salt, and pepper; cook 1 minute, until aromatic. Add rice and stir to coat. Cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Add vegetable broth, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice absorbs all liquid and becomes tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pomegranates, almonds, and herbs.
- Combine yogurt, lemon juice, and honey in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add 1 to 2 tsp. water to thin out, if desired. Drizzle yogurt mixture over rice.