This Christmas rice is a wonderful side dish for your holiday plate. It has all the basic ingredients of a simple fried rice plus cranberries to add some pops of sweetness.
To make this recipe, simply boil the rice until soft (takes about 12 minutes) before setting aside to cool. Sauté prepped veggies, herbs, and cranberries for about 5 minutes before mixing in the rice and simple seasonings. Easy!
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Ingredients for Christmas rice
For this recipe, you will need:
- rice: I used white jasmine rice here but feel free to use parboiled, brown, basmati or any of your favorite types of rice that won’t break apart or become mushy when mixed with the vegetables.
- onion: you can use any type of onions you prefer. Here I used purple onions, but they lost their color a bit.
- ginger: this adds great, subtle flavor to the Christmas rice.
- pimento pepper: these peppers are common here in the Caribbean, but feel free to use scotch bonnet, chilis, cayenne or any other fresh peppers. If these aren’t available then by all means use black pepper or paprika.
- sweet peppers: yellow, red and green bell peppers add festive pops of color to this holiday rice. Unfortunately, I only had green peppers on hand when making the recipe.
- cilantro: or parsley, we call this celery in T&T. It adds a great, fresh flavor to the rice.
- chadon beni: or culantro is a classic Trini herb that is used in virtually everything from rice to meats and everything savory.
- cranberries: you can use raisins and sultanas in place of cranberries in this recipe but I just enjoy the sweet, slightly tart bursts of flavor that the cranberries add to the rice. Not to mention, the color also goes well with the Christmas theme.
- sugar: I don’t usually add sugar to this recipe, but if you want the rice to have a slightly sweet taste, you can sprinkle a little sugar at the end while the rice is still hot. This is optional.
- vegetable oil
How to make Christmas rice
Prepare the rice
Step 1: Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot on the stove on medium heat. Add water, salt and cloves and bring to a boil.
Step 2: Wash the rice a couple times until the water is no longer cloudy and runs clear.
Step 3: Add the washed rice to the boiling water.
Step 4: Cook the rice until it has completely softened. This white jasmine rice takes about 12 minutes. But the time may differ depending on the rice you use.
Step 5: Strain the rice and set aside to cool completely. This can take about 15 minutes. You can fluff the rice with a fork when it is cool and remove the cloves.
Prepare the other ingredients
Step 6: Wash, peel and chop the onion and garlic. Wash, peel and grate the ginger.
Step 7: Rinse, scrape and dice the carrots. Wash, remove the seeds, and dice the pimentos and sweet peppers.
Step 8: Rinse and finely chop the herbs like cilantro (celery), and chadon beni. Wash the cranberries. You can cut them in half if you like.
Sauté the veggies
Step 9: Place a large skillet on the stove on medium heat. Allow to heat up for 1 minute. Add butter and oil to the pot.
Step 10: Toss in the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, and pimento. Stir and sauté for 30 seconds.
Step 11: Mix in the chopped carrots and salt. Cook for 1 minute.
Step 12: Add the diced sweet peppers, cilantro (celery) and chadon beni (culantro). Sauté for 1 minute.
Make Trini Christmas rice
Step 13: Add the cranberries to the vegetables. Cook for another 30 seconds.
Step 14: Add the rice and mix thoroughly with the vegetables and cranberries. Turn off the heat.
Step 15: Taste test and adjust the salt, pepper and seasoning to your preferred taste. If you want the rice a little sweeter, you can sprinkle a pinch of sugar over the rice. Serve hot alongside stewed lentils or stewed red beans, macaroni pie, baked chicken and more.
Christmas rice recipe
Christmas Rice Recipe (Without Coloring)
- 1 cup rice (like white jasmine rice)
- 4 cups water
- 5 cloves
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1½ tbsp ginger
- 1 pimento pepper (or pepper of choice)
- 1 medium carrot
- 2 medium bell peppers
- ¼ cup cranberries
- ¼ cup cilantro or celery
- ⅛ cup culantro or chadon beni
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- pinch of sugar (optional)
- Place a large pot on medium heat.
- Add water, 1 tsp salt and cloves. Bring to a boil.
- Rinse rice at least 3 times until the water runs clear.
- Add the washed rice to the boiling water.
- Boil until the rice is completely cooked (about 12 minutes).
- Strain any excess water. Set aside to cool (about 15 minutes).
- Wash, peel and chop the onion and garlic.
- Scrape the ginger peel. Grate.
- Rinse, scrape and dice the carrots.
- Wash, de-seed and dice the bell peppers and pimento pepper.
- Wash and chop the cranberries (optional).
- Wash and finely chop the fresh herbs like celery and chadon beni.
- Place a large skillet on medium heat. Leave to heat up.
- Add oil and butter.
- Mix in the prepped onion, garlic, ginger and pimento.
- Stir. Cook for 30 seconds.
- Toss in the carrots and 1 tsp of salt. Cool for 1 minute.
- Mix in the sweet peppers, celery and chadon beni.
- Sauté for 1 minute.
- Stir in the cranberries.
- Fluff rice with a fork. Remove cloves (optional).
- Add rice to the sauteed vegetables. Mix thoroughly.
- Taste test and adjust salt and pepper. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar (optional) for a sweeter dish.
- Turn off the heat. Serve hot.