Monday, December 19, 2022

Brown Basmati Rice With Cranberries and Walnuts

Basmati rice and chickpeas

Do you like rice? Have you ever tried Basmati rice? 

Basmati rice makes a simple yet exotic tasting side dish that can be cooked quickly and easily.

Its fragrance is light, its flavor and aroma are unique, and is enhanced with spices, chickpeas, nuts and even dried fruit such as dried cranberries. 

Walnut, Nuts, Fruit, Dried Fruit, Food

Most basmati rice is exported from India or Pakistan where this long grain rice has been cultivated since the 1700's to produce this special aromatic flavor. 

Asian, Brown, Catering, basmati rice

Trust me, your kitchen will smell wonderful after cooking this rice. I find it cooks a little faster than traditional rice and is lighter and fluffier. I've used both the brown basmati rice variety and the white basmati rice variety and enjoy them both in a variety of recipes.

Buffet, Indian, Food, Spices, Lunch
Photo from the Indian buffet at a restaurant

Although very popular in Indian cuisine, I find that this interesting variety of rice can be used for other more Americanized dishes as well. In this easy recipe, I simply cook the rice and then toss in walnuts, cashews, and chickpeas. Yup! That's all folks!

Since I made this dish for a weeknight dinner, I omitted the dried cranberries- but they are festive and pretty looking. My husband is Middle Eastern and his palate tends to gravitate to salty spicy as opposed to a sweet taste in his food. (of course he LOVES his desserts sweet). 

As a bonus, this side dish tastes great hot or at room temperature allowing you to make it in advance.

2 cups of brown basmati rice, washed well 
2 cups of water (double water for stove top cooking)
1 tablespoon Salt
1/2 cup of walnut halves
1 cup of cooked chickpeas from a can or homemade, drained well 
optional : 1/2 cup of dried cranberries.

Directions for Instant Pot
Place rice, salt, and water in the insert liner of the Instant Pot. Secure the lid, press the rice function, and allow to cook. When done cooking, allow to sit for 5 minutes before manually releasing steam according to the manufacturers directions. 

Directions for Stove Top
Follow directions on the bag for 2 cups of rice.

When rice is done, toss with walnuts, cooked chickpeas, and optional dried cranberries.

1. If omitting the dried cranberries, season with cumin and turmeric.


  1. This looks delicious! I’m a fan of brown rice, and I also love the combination of walnuts and cranberries. Adding all of this together sounds like a real winner.

  2. Definitely need to try basmati rice, this dish looks delicious!

  3. This looks so delicious. I can imagine how wonderful it smells/tastes. Basmati rice is about the only rice I'll use.

  4. LOVE walnuts in dishes that have seeds or rice in them. I'm not a big rice eater if I make it I mix with with millet and other seeds. Though I'm a HUGE fan of walnuts. Yes, please!

  5. I love basmati with chickpeas!!....your dish looks delicious.....Have a wonderful time and all the best for 2023!.....Abrazotes, Marcela

  6. I WILL be making this combination. Screams my name.

  7. I grew up eating rice, 3 meals a day, 24/ I am not a fan of rice, but I do love chickpeas and walnuts. Might sub. it with quinoa...


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