It also gives a lot of flavor and color to this dish. Next time you want rice to be a whole lot more than just rice, try this one out.
2 T. butter
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1/2 c. celery, sliced thin
1 tart apple, peeled and chopped small
1/2 c. slivered almonds
1/2 c. raisins
1/4 c. dried cranberries
2 c. white rice
4 c. hot water
1 t. salt
1 T. curry powder
1/4 c. slivered almonds, toasted
Melt butter in heavy 3 quart saucepan. Sauté onion and celery until translucent. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except toasted almonds. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until rice is tender. Tilt lid to let steam escape. Let rice sit for about ten minutes. Fluff with a fork, stirring well to mix all ingredients. Garnish with toasted almonds.
To toast almonds: Heat a small skillet on medium high. Add almonds and stir constantly for about five minutes, just until almonds begin to brown. Spread almonds onto paper towels to cool.