Orange Cumin Rice is so good it can be served as the main star of the table. The zest from the oranges, the sweetness of the raisins, and most importantly the cumin seeds that add the extra touch of subtle greatness.
Rice is a huge part of Middle Eastern cooking. It’s almost always on the table to serve its purpose of being the liaison between the sauce and your mouth. In Damascus, I grew up familiar almost always with Syrian vermicelli rice as a side dish. Other parts of the Middle Eastern world make pilafs filled with raisins and nuts. This particular rice pilaf is made with orange zest and cumin seeds. So subtle yet so delicious it can be eaten on its own.
What kind of rice?
I used Jasmine rice for this dish. Feel free to experiment with other kinds of rice although I was very pleased with the way this turned out. Basmati has a more distinct flavor which might overpower the orange and cumin, but I’m sure it will still taste amazing.
What variety of orange?
I used Naval Orange zest and used a vegetable peeler to cut it. Make sure to use orangic and or unwaxed or make sure to scrub it well to remove any toxins.
I don’t have an orange handy, can I use a lemon?
Other citrus fruits like lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, and clementine can easily replace orange in this dish. I prefer orange but if not substitute with another citrus. Also, make sure to only peel the skin, not the white part as that can taste bitter and overpower the flavor from the skin.
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Orange Cumin Rice Pilaf is filled with flavor yet that's not overpowering that will make this dish the start of the table. This is NOT the rice dish that is going to be the side to an entree, this will be the main star of the show.
- 2 Tbls butter
- 1 medium onion diced small
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 1 5 inch orange zest removed in one piece using a peeler
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/3 cup currant raisins golden or regular raisins work too
- Heat butter in medium saucepan
- Add the onions, cumin seeds, salt and stir until onions are clear and fragrant
- Stir in the rice and make sure the rice is fully coated with the butter onion mixture
- Add the broth, orange zest, cinnamon stick, and raisins
- Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover for 15 minutes
- Let it stand for 5 minutes before removing the lid
- Garnish with fresh herbs