Spiced Rice with Pickled Quince and Pomegranate


When food writer Danielle Centoni puts the word 'spiced' in her recipe name she means it. This flavorful rice side dish has cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, cloves, and turmeric all packed in.

Spiced Rice with Pickled Quince and Pomegranate
Photo: Blaine Moats
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
5 cups


Pickled quince:

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

  • ½ cup water

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 2-3 inch stick cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries

  • teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 3 fresh quince, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (1 1/2 pounds)


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and well-drained

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 ¾ cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth


  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds

  • cup chopped toasted pistachios

  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


To make pickled quince:

  1. In a medium saucepan combine vinegar, 1/2 cup water, the sugar, cinnamon stick, allspice berries, and cardamom. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer over medium, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add quince. Cover. Bring to boiling over medium-high; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Let cool.

To make the rice:

  1. In a 3-quart saucepan melt butter over medium. Add onion. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute more. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add rice. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until rice begins to smell toasted. Add broth. Bring to boiling over high; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Fluff with a fork. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes.

To serve:

  1. Drain pickled quince, discarding whole spices. Stir quince and pomegranate seeds into rice. Top with nuts, mint, and cilantro. Serves 8.

To toast pistachios:

Spread shelled nuts evenly in a shallow pan and bake at 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes.


The pickled quince can be made up to a week ahead. Store in the pickling brine in the refrigerator and drain just before using.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

177 Calories
4g Fat
33g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 177
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 335mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 10.4mg 52%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 1.3mg 7%
Potassium 233mg 5%
Folate, total 9.5mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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