Few things are the worth the hassle of deseeding a pomegranate, but this side dish is one of them! Pomegranate Basmati Rice is filled with the subtle sweetness of pomegranate arils that burst with each bite. Hints of ginger and cilantro complement the sweet with a little savory, creating an incredible combination of flavors. This side dish is sure to satisfy and have you coming back for seconds.
This post is part of our Basic Cooking Skills series. Each week we will be doing a deep-dive into one basic cooking skill and a brand new recipe to accompany it to practice that newfound skill. Check back throughout the series for updates and new posts.
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White rice or Basmati rice?
While similar to white rice, there are some notable differences of basmati rice in in how it looks and how it’s prepared.
Rice is such a versatile food and found in a variety of dishes from soups to sides to stand alone dishes across many cultures.
Basmati rice is most common in Indian dishes as well as other South Asian cuisines, and can be served with curry or even alongside roasted meats.
The grain is much longer than traditional white rice and the taste has been described as nutty or floral.
When cooking, basmati rice requires less water than the traditional 2:1 ratio of white rice that we learned in Cooking Rice. Basmati also cooks much faster than white rice.
These are just a few helpful tidbits of info to keep in mind when selecting what kind of rice to use. If using white rice in this recipe, be sure to follow the directions on the package to ensure proper preparation.
How to: Prep the Add-Ins and Deseed a Pomegranate
There’s very little prep involved with this recipe which helps make it even easier!
Finely dice ginger and chop cilantro. The smaller the pieces the better to increase the little bursts of flavor throughout the big pot of rice.
The trickiest part is seeding the pomegranate, but with a few careful steps it can be done practically pain free! Our first few pomegranates caused red stains all over our clothes and our kitchen and I refused to continue that frustration.
I’ve tried several “hacks” out there but none work as flawlessly as this one. You can also by packaged arils in some grocery stores, but you will pay for the convenience.
What I’ve discovered is the best way to deseed a pomegranate is by using a bowl filled with water! That is the secret to pain-free pomegranate seeding 🙂
Slice a pomegranate in half and be aware a little juice may splash out.
Submerge half of the pomegranate in a bowl of water with the seeds facing down. Grab the half with both hands and push in the center like you’re trying to invert it, pushing all the seeds out.
Most of the seeds will fall loose but most likely there will be some remaining in pieces of pith. While submerged, break off the pith into pieces if needed and pop out the remaining seeds with your hands.
Anytime you raise pieces above the water the more likely you are to accidentally burst arils and stain things.
In the bowl the seeds will sink and the pieces of pith will float! That makes for an easy cleanup. Remove the pith and drain.
How to: rinse and soak the rice
Rinsing rice before cooking helps wash away extra starch and other particles that can cause the rice to be a little too sticky.
Add rice to water in a bowl and swirl it around. You should notice the water getting cloudy — this is the starch!
Drain the water and repeat 2 or 3 times until the water starts to drain clear.
This process only takes a few minutes but can have a lasting effect on your dish!
Set aside and begin on the water.
How to: Make Pomegranate Basmati Rice
Bring heavily salted water to a boil.
Add the rice, ginger, and cilantro to the water and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice and then let sit for 5 minutes.
Mix in the pomegranate arils and top with fresh cilantro.
Pomegranate Basmati Rice
- 2 cups water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1.5 cups basmati rice
- 2 tbsp ginger finely diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 pomegranate arils
- Salt water and bring to a boil.
- Rinse rice 4-5 times to remove excess starch. Add rice, ginger, and cilantro to the pot and bring back to a boil.
- Cover and reduce the heat, simmering for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes fluff the rice, cover, and let sit 5 minutes.
- Stir in arils and serve warm.
There are so many fun add-ins to spruce up rice dishes! Share your favorites in the comments below. Ginger and chicken broth are definitely mine 🙂
41 thoughts on “Pomegranate Basmati Rice”
Oh wow!!!!!!!! This recipe is something new and yummy to me. I would like to try this. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much, that’s so sweet!
This looks delicious! I never had pomegranate rice so I should definitely try it!
It’s such an interesting combination of flavors!
This is something I think I’d love! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much for reading!
The recipe looks yummy will certainly try. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you — I appreciate you reading!
I love basmati rice, but I would never think to pair it with pomegranate, and I’m not usually one to mix sweet and savoury flavours. This recipe sounds delicious though so I’ll have to try it!
I hope you enjoy these sweet and savory flavors together 🙂
Well the dish looks colorful. You have given some simple and handy tips for cooking basmati rice. I can cook basmati rice, as I learned it from my mum, but never tried it with pomegranate. As the pomegranate is in season, I will try this recipe ASAP. Thanks, for sharing Kalin.
YES it’s great when pomegranates are nice and fresh this time of year!
This recipe looks fantastic! I would never have thought to add pomegranate to rice, but it looks so delicious. Thank you for sharing. 😊
Thank you for reading — it’s an interesting combo that’s so tasty!
I would never have thought to put pomegranate seeds in rice before. And I love basmati so I’m sure the flavors go really well together. Such a pretty dish too.
Thank you so much for reading — it’s worth trying out!
When I saw this dish. I was thinking great combo. Such a perfect side dish to go along with a Bbq. And currently it’s too cold in the UK to be having a BBQ. Will be keeping this link though and adding it to a summer food ideas.
And it looks great too. Love the photo edits.
That’s a great idea for the summertime! I love this with a nice warm curry but it’s so versatile!
I do like Basmati rice and like this way of cooking it. Thanks for sharing. 😀
Thank you for reading and commenting!
This is a completely new recipe to me. I’d have never considered putting something like pomegranate into rice before but it looks and sounds absolutely delicious!
It’s definitely worth it and so tasty with fresh pomegranate!
Hi Kalin. Well, this is a new one for me – sweet rice (unless you count rice pudding!). It sounds delicious so I may well give this a go – I just need to remember to buy a pomegranate! I can’t recall the last time that I bought one. Presumably, most supermarkets sell them these days?
yeah you can surprisingly find them pretty easily, especially moving into the winter months!
Kalin – what a gorgeous dish! Thanks for this recipe.
Thank you for your kind words!
This looks absolutely delicious – what a great mix of flavours as well. And so pretty – the perfect accompaniment to some turkey curry this Christmas! 🙂
Yum turkey curry sounds great right about now! Thanks for reading!
This would be such a refreshing dish! I love basmati rice and adore pomegranates – so the combination of the two is probably perfection! The earthy brightness of the cilantro is an awesome addition too!
As great as the pomegranates are, I really think the cilantro ties it together the best!
What a fab idea! Never thought of adding pomegranate to rice, and it sounds so yummy. Will definitely try it!
Thanks so much for your sweet words!
Oh yum! This looks like a perfect side dish. I love pomegranate!
Thank you, I love pomegranates this time of year!
Sounds awesome, I would love to try. Thanks for detailed explanations..
Thank you I appreciate it!
This sounds amazing! I will definitely be trying this recipe!
Thank! I hope you enjoy it!
This is really nice. I’ve never tried it and I’m quite curious about the taste. It looks really nice.
Thank you so much! It’s a really taste side
This Rice looks so pretty and flavorful! I’m a huge fan of basmati rice, so I will have to try out this recipe 🙂