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Golden Carrot Spice Rice

This golden, glistening, carrot-studded rice dish is inspired by the classic Iranian recipe that features fragrant spices, herbs, fresh and dried fruits, and nuts. I’ve simplified things by cutting back on the often long list of ingredients (which saves a lot of time!), but honoured the beauty of the recipe by keeping the core ingredients present: basmati rice, spices, and dates. 

The end result is a richly-hued and gorgeously fragrant pilaf with a sweet edge, that pairs perfectly with the other dishes in the Spring Rollover Menu. Feel free to change up the type of dried fruit used, the spring veggie, and even the spices to suit your tastes. Drizzled with the Parsley + Olive Tahini Dressing, this dish is a star!  

Golden Carrot Spice Rice


  • Knob of coconut oil or ghee
  • ½ Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 pods green cardamom crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 small yellow onions diced
  • 2 medium carrots julienned
  • ¼ cup / 40g pitted dates chopped
  • 2 cups / 400g brown basmati rice rinsed (if you can, soak the rice for up to 8 hours)
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt plus more as needed
  • 2 lemon slices
  • Cold-pressed olive oil for drizzling


  • Soak rice for up to 8 hours if possible. Drain and rinse the rice well/ rinse well if not soaking too!
  • Heat the coconut oil in a pot. Add the cumin and cook until fragrant, 1 minute, then add the turmeric, bay leaves, cardamom pods and the cinnamon stick. Stir to coat with the oil and fry for another minute until fragrant. Next add the onions, carrots, and dates. Cook until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the rinsed rice to the pot with 4 cups / 1 liter of water, the salt and the lemon slices. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook until the water has evaporated, about 40-45 minutes (add more hot water to the pot during cooking if it gets too dry).
  • When the rice is finished cooking, remove it from the heat. Serve it with a drizzle of good olive oil and lemon wedges, if desired. Say thank you and enjoy on its own, or with a generous sprinkle of the Pistachio Za’atar, Ghormeh Sabzi, the Parsley and Olive Tahini Dressing, and / or mixed together with the kidney beans.


Makes 8 servings!