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Lemony Fresh Basil Basmati Rice

Lemony Fresh Basil Basmati Rice

  • Author: Sharon Matten - Kosher Everyday
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Rest Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: Gluten Free
  • Diet: Kosher


Lemony Fresh Basil Basmati Rice is a refreshing blend of fresh Optimistic Garden herbs, zesty lemon, bright peas, crunchy almonds and light aromatic basmati rice. It’s our new family favorite and is sure to become yours as well!


Units Scale

For the Rice

  • 2 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried lemongrass powder
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon verbena, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

To Finish

  • 2 cups frozen green peas, defrosted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • Additional lemon zest, basil, chives, sliced lemon, and almonds for garnish


For the Rice

  1. In a large stockpot, stir together the rice, salt, pepper and lemongrass powder.
  2. Add the water, lemon basil, lemon verbena, chives, lemon zest, olive oil and lemon juice.  Stir to combine.
  3. Over high heat, bring the rice to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.  
  4. Remove the rice from the burner and allow it to rest for 10 minutes, uncover then gently fluff with a fork or spatula.

To Finish

  1. Toss the peas, fresh chives and slivered almonds into the rice.  
  2. Garnish with additional lemon zest, basil leaves, chopped chives, sliced lemons and slivered almonds before serving.
  3. Can be served hot or cold.


You can zest an entire lemon, use one tablespoon of zest during the cooking and garnish with the remainder when serving.

For reference, one tablespoon of fresh herbs = one teaspoon dried herbs.

Lemon Verbena

If you’re lucky you may be able to find fresh Lemon Verbena in a produce store, farmer’s market, or a specialty store like Whole Foods.  If you can’t you can substitute dried lemon verbena that you can find in your local spice store or on Amazon.  I’ll provide a link at the bottom of the recipe.

Lemon Basil

You may be able to find lemon basil in your local produce or grocery store.  If you can’t find it, don’t worry.  You can substitute fresh, traditional basil leaves.  Additionally, in a pinch, you can use dried basil as well.


I used dried lemongrass in this recipe.  You can probably substitute fresh, which I’ve seen in produce stores.   I add one teaspoon of dried powdered lemongrass, so that would be the equivalent of a tablespoon of fresh.  I’ve never used fresh so please let me know if you make that substitution.

Fresh Chives

Fresh chives are fairly accessible in the produce section of local grocery stores.  These are not green onions, but the thin, skinny green onion stalks.  If you can’t find them, you can substitute traditional green onions.  Worst case scenario, substitute a traditional yellow onion or dried chives.

Fresh Lemon

Please please don’t substitute.  Fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest are essential to give this recipe the best, bright flavor.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 180
  • Sugar: 2.2 g
  • Sodium: 219.3 mg
  • Fat: 8.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21.1 g
  • Fiber: 3.2 g
  • Protein: 5.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Lemon Rice, Lemon Basil Rice, Basmati Rice, Kosher, Pareve, Plant Based, Dairy Free, Meat Free, Gluten Free


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