Rice With Dates (Arabian Peninsula)

Recipe by COOKGIRl


  • 1
    cup rice (I used basmati)
  • 2 14
    cups water
  • 1
    teaspoon salt
  • 5
    tablespoons butter
  • 12
    cup slivered almonds
  • 13
    cup dates, cut into small pieces (run a knife under hot water to make slicing easier)
  • 2
    tablespoons raisins
  • 12
    teaspoon cinnamon (or 1/2 of one small whole cinnamon stick)


  • Place the rice in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour then drain in a fine mesh strainer.
  • Place the drained rice in a pot with *2 cups* of water and bring to the boil then cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small pan and cook the almonds until starting to brown, stirring often.
  • Stir in the dates, raisins, ground cinnamon or cinnamon stick and cloves.
  • Turn heat down to low and cook covered for 15 minutes or until the mixture is soft and gooey, stirring often. (Do not overcook or let dry out.).
  • After the rice has cooked 10 minutes, remove the pot from the burner without taking off the lid and let stand for 15 minutes.
  • Drain the rice in a strainer under warm water and then place half of the rice back in the pot, flattening and spreading it around evenly.
  • Dot the first layer of rice with 1 tablespoon of butter.
  • Now arrange the cooked almond-date mixture over the rice, spreading it around and flattening with a spatula. Spoon the rest of the rice on top, again spreading it around and flattening the top then dot with 1 tablespoons of butter.
  • Invert a heatproof plate on top of the rice or as I did-fold up a tea towel and place it on top of the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and cook on very low heat for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes of cooking, remove the pot (but keep the lid on the pot!) to another burner and set aside for another 15 minutes.
  • Invert the pot of rice onto a serving platter.
  • Serve hot.