While traditions vary from culture to culture, there are a variety of foods that are believed to be lucky and to improve the odds that next year will be a great one.
Pomegranates represent good luck in Turkey for many reasons: their red color, which represents the human heart, denotes life and fertility; their medicinal properties represent health; and their abundant, round seeds represent prosperity—all things everyone hopes for in any fresh start.
Pomegranate seeds add bursts of sour-sweetness to the basmati rice. This dish is especially delicious with lamb.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 cup basmati or jasmine rice
- 1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 cup chopped unsalted pistachios or almonds
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1/2 pomegranate)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add rice; cook, stirring 1 minute to coat. Add chicken stock; bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until rice has absorbed all liquid, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and fluff with a fork. Stir in apricots, nuts, pomegranate seeds, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.