French Fridays with Dorie: Cardamom Rice Pilaf

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Cardamom Rice Pilaf – Quick and easy recipe for rice pilaf with basmati rice and cardamom.

cardamom rice pilaf

Do you know how to boil rice?

Congratulations! You now know how to make Cardamom (+ lemon zest) Rice Pilaf!

I just hope you don’t mind spending more than the cost of your left arm on some cardamom pods.

Every time I go to buy it, hubs has a minor heart attack. It’s 12$ bucks! But it lasts me a while because I don’t use it very often.


Preparation for this simple, yet tasty side dish took about 20 minutes from start to finish. I sautéed some onions, boiled the basmati rice, spiced it up, and voila – le dîner est servi! Is that correct? I hope I didn’t butcher it. :/

Although this pilaf is great when served with saucy dishes, it has enough flavor to be served all on its own, alongside some grilled chicken, fish, or any other meats.

cardamom rice pilaf


French Fridays with Dorie: Cardamom Rice Pilaf

6 6 6
WW Freestyle: 6
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 216
Author: Katerina | Diethood


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion , finely chopped
  • seeds from 7 cardamom pod , bruised
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice , such as basmati
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste


  • Put a medium saucepan over low heat and pour in the oil.
  • Add the onion to the hot oil; add cardamom seeds and continue to cook and stir for about 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and everything is nicely coated with oil.
  • Increase the heat to medium; add in the rice, and cook and stir until it is warmed through.
  • Increase the heat, pour in the broth or water; stand back, it may sputter; stir, and bring to a boil.
  • Toss in the lemon zest, season with salt and pepper, and give everything a last stir.
  • Decrease heat, cover, and cook the rice until it is tender and has absorbed all (or almost all) of the liquid, 10-15 minutes, depending of the rice you've used.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let the rice sit for 2 minutes before fluffing it with a fork and serving.


WW Freestyle SmartPoints: 6 
Nutrition Facts
French Fridays with Dorie: Cardamom Rice Pilaf
Amount Per Serving
Calories 216 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 473mg20%
Potassium 93mg3%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 250IU5%
Vitamin C 2.1mg3%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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41 Responses
  1. kimberlycun

    cardamoms are quite expensive where i am too, but not as expensive as where you are! i use them sparingly too and whenever i have to buy more i feel like i’m doing something wrong haha

  2. kita

    Im not normally a fan of rice pilaf, but you make this look so pretty that I really want to try it. The use of cardamom really has my eyes big and my taste buds curious.

  3. Nami @ Just One Cookbook

    Cardamom is one of my favorite spices and I drink Chai including cardamom every morning! Your pilaf looks and sounds wonderful. I can totally smell the nice fragrance of cardamom…. Delicious!

  4. KarenP

    Your pictures are wonderful! I have used cardamom more since starting French Fridays with Dorie than I ever have before.

  5. The Harried Cook

    What a beautiful pilaf! We add cardamom in everything here in India. So this would be very popular in most Indian homes 🙂

  6. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time

    Bravo! It’s gorgeous. I adore cardamom and cry every time I have to purchase it as well. Great job on the Dorie challenge! Have a fantastic weekend.

  7. Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen

    Your green cardamoms look great but yes, the Indian grocery stores do sell them for much, much cheaper (their dishes use them more). Only thing is, they might not be organic. You did a great job with the rice, oh, didn’t it just smell and taste heavenly?

  8. Priscilla - She's Cookin'

    You are so cute! Yes, I can cook rice and I just happen to have some cardamom that I got at the Natural Products Expo! Thanks for the inspiration for the side to the swordfish I’m making for dinner 🙂 Hope you’re having a fun and relaxing weekend, Kate!

  9. Peggy

    You’re definitely getting robbed at the grocery! $12?! Blasphemy! If you guys have an Indian grocery store in your city/town – I’d definitely look there, I can get a 1/2 pound bag of cardamom seeds for like $5! Not to mention all of the other goodies that surround you!

    Anyway… you did a great job with this pilaf!

  10. Claudia

    I’ve had my eye on that recipe and you convinced me. So fluffy and aromatic and it goes with so much – including the barbecue we are planning. And as always, I am all about ease.


    I am surprised at how expensive cardamom is everywhere. We tend to have odd things like that on hand so I didn’t have to buy any – and this was a great reminders of how much I love it! Pretty pictures!

  12. OPER Thai Rice

    It look very yummy and can eat along with several menus.
    Will this menu taste good with Jasmine rice too?

  13. Junia @ Mis Pensamientos

    wow, only 20 minutes to cook basmati rice?! i’m so impressed! i have such a hard time making rice come out well on the stove top. i’m so spoiled by an electric rice cooker! do you keep your pot covered as it is cooking? my dad loves rice pilaf, so i’m sure he will want to eat this! going to make it for him!!

    1. Kate@Diethood

      Fry the basmati rice for a minute then add in some broth or water, cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. 🙂

  14. kitchenarian

    Beautiful rice Kate! I am not a big rice fan, but I did enjoy this recipe. Hmm, now that I own a lot of cardamom pods, what should I cook next? Enjoy your weekend.

  15. Nana

    I got lucky with this recipe. Tricia supplied the rice, cardamom, plus a
    lemon. I had absolutely no excuse not to do this. If I priced the spice
    at Wegmen’s I’m sure I would not have made the recipe. As is, I have
    way too many spices which I will never finish. Great photos.

  16. Happy When Not Hungry

    Wow how interesting with the cardamom! Looks delicious as always. Have a wonderful long weekend 🙂

  17. Erin

    I have never bought Cardamom for that very reason! Really I have only ever made 1 recipe that it was called for in. But if I keep finding good looking recipes, I might have to go out on a limb and spend some $$.

  18. Lauren

    I always wondered what to do with that stuff 😉 Got the book last week, just waiting (not so patiently) for it to come in the mail…so excited to try these amazing things you are posting 🙂

  19. Magic of Spice

    Cardamom is such a wonderful spice! I can just imagine the wonderful aroma from this lovely rice 🙂
    Hope you have a wonderful and safe weekend 🙂

  20. Lindsey@Lindselicious

    Im in love with making flavored rice right now. Thanks for this combo Kate, I never would have thought to try it!

  21. Liz

    I couldn’t find any whole cardamom, but my seeds gave a lovely flavor! Our bowls look almost exactly alike…this definitely needed a wee bit of parsley for color 🙂

  22. visda

    Awesome. This is one of those minimalist amazing ideas. So flavorful and tasty and easy to make. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Meagan


    I absolutely adore this – cardamom in a rice pilaf is inspired. Thanks so much for another fantastic post, Kate!

  24. Carolyn

    Mmm, sometimes the simpler recipes are the best. Cardamom is such a great flavour and perfect the rice. It is expensive, but since you don’t use much at a time, it lasts a while.

  25. Jean (Lemons and Anchovies)

    I’ve never used cardamom in my rice. I bet this smelled so good besides tasting wonderful, of course. Happy Friday, Kate!

  26. Sandra's Easy Cooking

    This looks great Kate..cardamom is packed with flavor but I never used it in a rice recipes..great job, your pictures and presentation is fantastic!

  27. Nicole@HeatOvenTo350

    I love cardamon. It smells like heaven to me. I’ve never tried it in a rice dish, though. I need to try this.

  28. Adriana

    I had to stop for a moment and swallow hard when I bought my cardamom. The only store that had cardamom pods (same brand as yours) had it at $14. It’s a good thing that the pod keeps the seeds nice and fresh to use – and that the rice was delicious!

  29. Kristy

    Yum! I love pilaf! I’ve seen cardamom in recipes before, but I don’t think I have any. Might be one to add to the cabinet. 😉

  30. claudia lamascolo

    I have never tried this spice I guess its time to buy some your rice looks awesome.. have a great weekend!

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