This curried apple pilaf is a flavorful side dish that’s both sweet and savory. It’s made with basmati rice, sweet apples, toasty walnuts and plump raisins. Pair this side with any protein for a perfectly flavorful meal.
Before I get to the recipe – I have to share some exciting news!!
You can make this curried apple pilaf in less than thirty minutes by using an Instant Pot (this is the model that I have and love)! It’s the perfect side to pair with roast chicken, broiled lamb chops, rib roast – you name it. Anything that goes well with plain rice will go well with this curried rice.
The soft apples add sweetness, the toasty walnuts add a bit of crunch and the curry powder lends a savory flavor to the dish. I also added some apple juice to the rice to give it extra apple flavor. And I used my all-time favorite type of rice: basmati rice – this brand is my favorite!
This is an Indian-inspired recipe – not authentic one by any means. In fact, I consider this more of a western dish than I do Indian. That’s because this recipe calls for curry powder, a spice blend that is actually a British invention. If you’re not familiar with curry powder, you can read this blog post that I wrote about it. While I do post a lot of authentic Indian recipes, the truth is that I like the flavor of this Indian-inspired spice blend because it’s convenient and easier than grabbing several jars of spices. This is crucial when living a busy lifestyle (or in my case a busy “chasing a baby all around the house” lifestyle).
I made this dish for a food blogger potluck that we had in my backyard this past weekend (see my Instagram post about the dinner!). Once I and the other bloggers get all of our apple-themed recipes up I’ll be sure to post a recap of the event here on the blog. It was so much fun and the food was all really good – so stay tuned for that 🙂 In the meantime, make this curried apple pilaf and tell me what you think about it!
- 2 cups basmati rice, soaked for 15-30 minutes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cardamom pods
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 2 apples, diced
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cup water
- 3 teaspoons curry powder, adjust to taste
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, adjust to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- Soak the basmati rice in cold water for 15-30 minutes. Drain and rinse.
- Press saute, add butter and once it melts, add the whole spices to the pot. When they begin to sizzle add the onion and stir-fry for 6-7 minutes or until it begins to brown.
- Add the walnuts and raisins, stir for 1-2 minutes to toast the walnuts, then add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Cook for 6 minutes at high pressure. When it is done, wait 10 minutes then release any remaining pressure.
- Garnish with cilantro.