Middle Eastern-style Basmati Rice

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Here is my recipe for Basmati Rice. It is a great recipe that has been passed down among family and family friends.

Vegeta is a spice mix that is sold in middle eastern stores. I do not think it is sold at regular supermarkets. It's the 'secret' ingredient to this dish.

The other spices can be found in a traditional middle eastern store.If you do not have a middle eastern market near you, try looking in the Hispanic section of your grocery store.Spices in the Hispanic isle tend to be sold in smaller packs and are usually less expensive.

Adding pan roasted nuts is optional but highly recommended. I usually add 1/2 of the roasted nut mix in with the rice, then use the rest as garnish.Feel free to add more or less roasted nuts or subsitute to your liking.I do not think halved blanched almonds are sold in traditional grocery stores.  I can only find them in middle eastern markets, so if you cannot find any near you, simply double the amount of slivered almonds or pine nuts.

This rice works great with Roasted Chicken, Roasted Lamb, Shish Kabob, Roasted Cornish Game Hen, etc.  Traditionally, it is served with plain yogurt.


Spice mix

Garnish - Nut Mix




Spice mix

  1. Mix the all the spices together and store in an air tight container until ready to use.

Garnish - Nut Mix

  1. Heat a 12 inch skillet on medium high.
  2. Add vegetable oil.
  3. As the pan heats up, add the pine nuts, slivered almonds, halved blanched almonds, pistachios, and a pinch of salt.
  4. Shake the pan and stir the nuts consistently with a wooden spoon until they are golden brown.
  5. Be careful with this step because the nuts can burn very quickly.
  6. If the pan gets too hot, and you feel like they are turning brown to quickly, simply remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir.
  7. Rest the roasted nut mixture on a plate lined with paper towels.


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
  2. As the oil heats up, add 2 – 3 tablespoons of the basmati spice mix.
  3. Stir until fragrant 10 – 15 seconds.
  4. Add the basmati rice to the spice mix, and stir until the mix is well incorporated with the rice releases it's aroma - about 30 to 45 seconds.
  5. Add two cups of water and bring to a boil.
  6. Leave the rice uncovered until the rice cooks up slightly below the water level.
  7. This will take about 5 minutes.
  8. Once the rice reaches water level, reduce the heat to low and cover the rice.
  9. Cook until the liquid is fully absorbed 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Fluff with a fork.


  1. Add ½ of the roasted nut garnish to the rice and mix well.
  2. Transfer rice to a serving dish or platter.
  3. Sprinkle the rest of the roasted nut garnish and coarsely chopped parsley to the top of the rice.
  4. Season with fresh ground pepper.
  5. Serve with yogurt.


  1. Vegeta is a combination of vegetables and seasoning herbs