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Arabic Spiced Rice with Toasted Nuts

Arabic Spiced Rice with toasted nuts is a delicious and traditional rice recipe that
I learnt from my mother-in-law. l plump Calrose rice is gently cooked with minced lamb; the flavour is heightened with an aromatic mix of warm and comforting spices and finally garnished with fried nuts and dried fruits. I usually love to serve this when I have a special dinner gathering and serve it to complement a roast turkey, roast chicken or leg of lamb. This is a wonderful recipe that I love to serve at dinner parties, during Ramadan and for family Friday lunches.

Arabic Spiced Rice

Basic Ingredients for Arabic Spiced Rice


Calrose Rice: Calrose rice is a type of short-grain rice that is commonly used in Asian cuisine, including in dishes like Arabic spiced rice. It is known for its slightly sticky texture, making it an excellent choice for recipes where the rice needs to hold together, like in rice pilafs or stir-fries.

Arabic Spice: The spices used in Arabic spiced rice are crucial to the dish’s flavour profile. A blend of aromatic spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom, provides a bold and complex flavour that is distinctive to this dish. Different regions may use different spices, but the goal is always to create a well-rounded and aromatic flavour.

Nuts: Nuts, like almonds or pine nuts, are sometimes added to Arabic spiced rice for texture and flavor. They add a crunchy texture and nutty flavor to the dish, which enhances its overall taste and texture. Additionally, nuts can also help to add extra nutrition to the dish.

alternative ingredients

Rice: Calrose rice can be substituted with other types of rice, such as basmati, jasmine or sushi rice.

Lamb: If you don’t have lamb, you can substitute it with beef.

Vegetable oil: If you don’t have vegetable oil, you can substitute it with other oils such as olive oil, canola oil, or avocado oil.

Water: You can use hot broth instead of water to add extra flavour to the dish.

Serving Tips for Arabic Spice Rice

  • Consider garnishing the dish with fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro or mint to add color and flavour.
  • Serve the dish with roast chicken or roast lamb. It is also delicious as a meal on its own served with a side of yoghurt and a fatoush salad.
  • Serve the dish in a large serving platter and sprinkle with toasted nuts or seeds for a beautiful presentation.

storage tips

Airtight container: Store the dish in an airtight container to prevent any air from getting in and drying out the rice.

Refrigeration: Keep the dish in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The rice may become dry, so consider adding a little bit of broth or water to it when reheating.

Freezing: This dish can also be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Make sure to store it in a freezer-safe container and to thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating.

Reheating: Reheat the dish in a pot on the stove or in the microwave. If the rice has become dry, add a little bit of broth or water to it to help bring it back to its original consistency.

Arabic Spiced Rice with Toasted Nuts (Full Video)

Arabic Spiced Rice with Toasted Nuts

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 4 cups Calrose rice
  • 300 g roughly minced lamb
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp 7 spice Arabic mix spice
  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 cups hot water

Mixed Nuts

  • ¼ cup blanched almonds
  • ¼ cup cashew nuts
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • ¼ cup yellow raisins
  • ¼ cup dried figs, cut into small cubes
  • ¼ cup dried apricots, cut into small cubes
  • vegetable oil


  • Soak rice in water for 30 minutes. Rinse rice until the water is clear.
  • In a medium-sized pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Then add the minced lamb and season with 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt, white pepper powder, black pepper powder, cinnamon powder and 7-spice powder Sauté the ingredients together until the meat has slightly browned but still has retained its moisture.
  • Add in the rice and mix together for a couple of minutes Add the boiling water and cover the pot; reduce heat and leave the rice to cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Serve the rice is a serving platter and top with mixed nut to garnish.

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