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A bowl of Moroccan Rice with dates and harissa.

Stovetop Rice with Harissa, Dates, and Orange


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed until water runs clear (do not use brown rice)
  • 6 medjool dates,  pitted and diced
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced


  1. In a large skillet over high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the onions and reduce the heat to medium. Add a pinch of salt, and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and bay leaf to the onions, and cook for another minute more. Add the harissa. Stir to incorporate. Add the rice and stir for another minute or until each grain is glistening. Add the dates and the orange zest. Squeeze the orange into a liquid measure and add enough water to create 1 and 1/3 cups liquid. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pan. Stir to combine.
  3. Bring to a simmer, cover pan, turn heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork. There should be a bit of nice caramelization on the bottom of the pan — I like to scrape this up and incorporate it into the rice. Serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Rice
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Moroccan

Keywords: Moroccan, rice, dates, orange, harissa, stovetop