Rice Pilaf with Dried Cherries and Apricots

The Backstory: Rosh Hashanah marks the celebration of the Jewish New Year and is a special time for gathering with family and friends to wish each other a Happy and Sweet New Year. It is also, more importantly, when we face G-d for his judgement of our lives.  We spend time in deep reflection over our words and actions towards others, seek G-d’s forgiveness for any harm we may have caused others over the past year, and we ask for forgiveness.   More of the Backstory after the recipe

Rice Pilaf with Dried Cherries and Apricots

Dried, tart cherries and sweet apricots are the tasty stars of this delicious and colorful side dish. The dish looks beautiful as a side to any chicken or beef main course and is a perfect accompaniment to your Rosh Hashanah meal.
Course Sides
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 cup Jasmine rice or basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups Kitchen chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional)
  • 1/3 cup carrot peeled and shredded


  1. In a small pot, boil 2 cups of water. Add the cherries and apricots. Reduce the heat to simmer and let the fruit cook for 3-4 minutes to soften. Drain. When the apricots are cool, cut into bite size pieces. Set the fruit aside.
  2. In a large pot, on medium heat, heat the oil and saute the garlic and onions and carrots. When soft, add the turmeric, salt and black pepper. Mix for about 20 seconds to incorporate the seasonings. Add the rice, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.
  3. When a little translucent, add the chicken stock, stirring constantly. When it comes to a boil lower heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 12-15 minutes. Do not stir. Remove from heat.
  4. Fluff the rice with a fork. Gently fold in the fruit. Place in a pretty serving dish and sprinkle the almonds on top. Enjoy!

…The Backstory continues: At this time of year,  we all hope and pray that we will be better people in the coming year. Our fate is sealed in the Book of Life and we hope for yet another year with friends and family, and to do good work within our communities. Yet even though this may sound gloomy, it isn’t. This is a time of renewal, and this hope can also be reflected in the foods we eat.  For the wish to us and those we love is for a sweet New Year.

This rice pilaf is filled with sweet goodies that can be served anytime of the year, but especially at Rosh Hashanah when our focus is  on what’s good, sweet, and what should be savored and shared with others.

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Myrna Turek

Myrna Turek

I'm a domestic goddess who got my 'PhD' in Home Ec in the early 1960s. I was married for 52 years and have six grandchildren. If it were up to me, everything would be fried. Including chocolate.
Myrna Turek

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