Date Pilaf

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Serves: 4-6


  • 250 g long-grain or basmati rice
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 40 g butter
  • 6 fresh medjool dates, pitted and diced
  • 2.5 ml freshly ground black pepper
  • 2.5 ml ground allspice
  • 2.5 ml paprika
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Half the peel of an orange, in a long strip
  • 80 ml shredded flat leaf parsley

Nut Garnish:

  • 80 ml olive oil
  • 125 ml flaked almonds, (optionally, roughly chopped)
  • 100 ml pine nuts, (optionally, roughly chopped)
  • 1.25 ml ground cinnamon
  • Pinch sea salt

You will need a clean tea towel.


  1. Rince rice in cold water, working it with your fingers to loosen the starch
  2. Drain off milky water and repeat until water is clear.
  3. Cover rice with cold water and let soak for 10 minutes, drain and rince.
  4. In a separate pot, bring the stock to a boil, then set to simmer.
  5. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan.
  6. Add dates, pepper, spices and stir.
  7. Gently stir in rice, ensuring all grains are coated with the spiced butter.
  8. Stir in the stock and add the salt.
  9. Bring to the boil.
  10. Add the orange peel.
  11. Cover with tight fitting lid.
  12. Cook over very low heat for 15-17 minutes.
  13. When done, the grains will be plump and separate and the surface will be dented with little holes.
  14. Remove pan from the heat and slide a clean, folded tea towel under the lid.
  15. Let stand for 20 minutes and make the nut garnish.


  1. Heat oil in a small frying pan.
  2. Sauté nuts until evenly colored.
  3. Pour nuts into a sieve.
  4. Sprinkle on cinnamon and salt.
  5. Shake sieve to eavenly coat nuts.

To Serve:

  1. Remove peel.
  2. Stir through parsley.
  3. Pour rice onto serving platter and cover with nuts.

Best served: Hot

Preparation Notes

  • I usually double this recipe.
  • Forbidden rice makes an excellent substitute and provides a deep nutty flavor, double all times if doing this.


  • Storage: Refrigerator for 7 days
  • Freezer: Unknown, unlikely
  • Reheat: Microwave