Jeweled Rice

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“Takes some time to make, but tastes great and looks good. This is a sweeter dish. If you don't have barberries aka zereshk you can substitute 1/2 c dried cranberries. To make the recipe easier, you can use pre-roasted unsalted nuts, but it won't taste as good. I haven't tried this yet, but people tell me the crusty rice is the best part of this dish. Submitted for ZWT9. From Bon Appetit June 2013”
1hr 20mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Roast pistachios at 350 degrees for 4 minutes. Let cool and chop coarsely.
  2. Toast almonds golden brown at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes.
  3. Rinse rice in sieve until water runs clear to remove excess starch.
  4. Cook rice in boiling water 6-7 minutes stirring occasionally until rice has lengthened, but is still firm. Rinse rice and let cool.
  5. Boil 1 cup water & sugar in medium saucepan. When sugar is dissolved, add orange zest and carrots. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until carrots are tender 15-20 minutes. Drain carrots & zest, discarding syrup.
  6. Soak raisins and barberries in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain.
  7. Soak saffron in 1/4 cup hot water.
  8. Heat butter and 1 Tbl oil on medium heat in large skillet. Add onion and salt & cook 8-10 minutes until onions are soft and just beginning to brown.
  9. Add cardamom, cumin, tumeric and 1 Tbl of saffron mix. Cook approximately 1 minute until fragrant.
  10. Turn heat to low. Add barberries and raisins and cook about 3 minutes stirring frequently.
  11. Stir in nuts, orange/carrot mix and season with salt.
  12. In a large wide heavy pot, heat 3 Tbl oil on medium heat. Add half the rice; spread evenly. Evenly spread fruit/ nut/onion mix on top. Evenly spread remaining rice on top of that. Poke 4-5 holes with wooden spoon handle to the bottom of the pot. This will help steam escape and food cook more evenly.
  13. Drizzle remaining saffron mix over rice. Place a clean linen towel over pot and cover with tight fitting lid. Tie loose ends of the towel with a rubber-band,masking tape, or another method to the top of the lid, so it doesn't come near the stove top.
  14. Cook 5-8 minutes, until steam emerges. Reduce heat to low and cook 30-40 minutes without stirring until rice is tender. Bottom layer of rice will be brown and crisp.
  15. Place in large serving bowl, breaking crust into pieces.

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