Spiced Rice with Toasted Almonds

Prep Time: 
50 minutes
Number of Servings: 
6
Recipe Source: 

Ingredients

  • 2 heaping Tbsp combined ground spices (cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, allspice)
  • 1 cup olive oil (preferably Palestinian or Lebanese), divided
  • 2 cups basmati or other long-grain rice, rinsed and tossed to dry
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt, optional
  • 3/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds

Directions

  1. Bring 2 quarts water to a rolling boil. When water boils, stir in fragrant spices and let simmer while you toast rice.
  2. To toast rice, heat 1/2 cup of the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy saucepan large enough to hold all of rice when cooked—such as a 2-quart pan. Let oil get very hot, add rice to saucepan, and toast, tossing and stirring. This will keep rice from sticking to pan as it cooks. 
  3. Toast until rice has turned translucent, and then pour in boiling spiced water all at once. Add salt, if using, and, as soon as the mixture returns to a boil, turn heat down, cover pan, and continue cooking until rice is done, about 20 minutes. Remove rice from heat, stir in parsley, cover pan once more, and set it aside for at least 5 to 10 minutes to settle.
  4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1/2 cup of oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. When it is very hot—a deep-fry thermometer should reach about 350°—add blanched almonds.
  5. Cook, stirring constantly, until almonds are a rich golden color. As almonds start to change color, be very careful not to let them burn. When they are done, remove from oil with a slotted spoon and add to finished rice, stirring almonds into rice at last minute before serving.

Notes

You can add cumin and coriander seeds to the spice mixture as well. Buy them whole and grind them in a spice grinder or a coffee mill for the most pungent fragrance. You can also start with equal proportions of the suggested spices, and then vary the mixture to your own taste—adding in cumin or coriander, or perhaps a little of the sour tangy spice called sumac, if you wish.