This Vegan Jeweled Rice Recipe Really Sparkles

The bright hues of saffron rice, green onions, and pomegranate seeds give this dish its name.

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The bright hues of saffron rice, green onions, and pomegranate seeds give this vegan jeweled rice recipe its name. Cooking the rice like pasta — in a large pot of boiling, salted water — cuts cooking time and helps keep the grains from sticking together in the finished dish.

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Vegan Jeweled Rice



  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron
  • 2 Tbs. plant butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for drizzling, optional
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. grated lime zest
  • 1/4 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)


  1. Toast almonds in single layer in large skillet over medium heat 6 minutes, or until lightly browned, tossing occasionally. Transfer to bowl.
  2. Bring large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add rice, and cook 7 to 8 minutes, or until slightly firm. Drain, and reserve 1/4 cup cooking water. Stir saffron into reserved cooking water in cup, and set aside. Rinse rice under cold water, and drain again. Wipe out saucepan.
  3. Heat butter and 1 Tbs. oil in saucepan over high heat. Stir in caraway, thyme, coriander, and cumin, and cook 30 seconds, or until spices are sizzling and fragrant. Spread rice in even layer over sizzled spices; season with salt, if desired. Drizzle saffron water over top, and sprinkle with lime and orange zests, stirring only top layers of rice to incorporate seasonings (do not disturb bottom layer of rice). Make 4 or 5 pockets in rice to let steam escape, then reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until bottom of rice is crispy and lightly browned. Transfer to bowl.
  4. Stir in pomegranate seeds, green onions, and almonds. Drizzle with extra olive oil, if using, before serving.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 325
  • Carbohydrate Content 52 g
  • Cholesterol Content 10 mg
  • Fat Content 11 g
  • Fiber Content 4 g
  • Protein Content 6 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Sodium Content 80 mg
  • Sugar Content 5 g