Jewelled Party Rice

10 September 2023 Dairy Free Gluten Free Vegetarian Friendly
Party rice is your VIP guest list in a bowl. My go to party dish for any celebration, this jewelled bowl of delight brightens up any table elevating the regular grain of rice from ordinary to extraordinary. This is your accessorising moment right here.

One of the many beauties of this dish, is that the rice and any of the additions you choose to add to adorn it with can be prepped in advance and assembled just before serving.

The rice can be made a few hours ahead. If you follow the absorption method below and do not lift the lid at any time, it will happily keep warm for a few hours until you are ready. The caramelised onions are a personal essential here as their sweetness and oil acts as a dressing, plus they can also be made well in advance. If you are using fresh herbs, which I love for their brightness and colour, the rice should not be too hot as they will discolour so please remember to only stir them through at the last minute.

The toppings here are merely a suggestion and the measurements are approximate. Choose as few or many to make your dish suitable for a feast. This is an idea more than a recipe and the accessories for the rice should accompany the flavours in the dishes you serve alongside.

(This was one of the recipes featured on my Rosh Hashanah segment on Channel 4 Sunday Brunch)

Note: Jewelled rice of one iteration or another always appears on my Rosh Hashanah table and at basically every other celebration, hence the very festive feel of the topping suggestions below. Please do let me know what you add to your party rice so that I too can broaden my horizons.

For the Rice

  • 400g (2cups) white basmati rice
  • 3-4 allspice berries (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 litre vegetable stock, chicken stock or water

Optional Toppings

  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • 50g dried sour cherries, soaked in 2tbs red wine vinegar and drained
  • 30g (1 bunch) mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 30g (1 bunch) dill, finely chopped
  • 30g (1 bunch) coriander, finely chopped (or parsley if you are particularly coriander averse)
  • 3 medium onions, sliced into half moons and caramelised slowly in olive oil
  • 2 spring onions sliced thinly
  • 50g (large handful) lightly toasted sliced almonds (or other nut of choice)
  • 50g (large handful) toasted pistachio kernels
  • 100g steamed peas or shelled broad beans
  • 200g cooked chickpeas, toasted
  • handful of rocket leaves for decoration

Rinse the rice thoroughly in a sieve until the water runs clear.  Place in a wide shallow pan with a tight fitting lid.  Pour over hot stock or water and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and allspice berries.  Bring to the boil, stir one last time and cover.  Turn the heat down to low. 

Cook for 20 minutes, and turn off the heat.  Leave covered and to steam for another 5-10 minutes. Do not be tempted to lift the lid!

Once the rice has finished cooking and resting, remove the lid and allow the steam to escape.  Stir through with a fork, and loosen with a tablespoon of olive oil if necessary.

Just before serving add any of the festive toppings of your choice and stir through (my favourites are the caramelised onions, pomegranate seeds, dried cherries, fresh herbs, spring onions almonds and pistachios).   

Have you made this dish?

Let me know what you think, share your efforts and any tweaks you made to the recipe on Instagram, don’t forget to tag #BuildingFeasts or email me on