Persian Jeweled Rice

Happy New Year! 2014 is going to be the best year yet! And I know everyone is saying that, but I fully believe it to be true! I am writing down my goals for the New Year, both professional and personal…and I’d like to know…what are some of your New Years goals?

And as we say in Hawaii, houli makahiki hou!!

Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

 I left the sunny beaches of So Cal and have been in Pittsburgh this week for my girlfriends wedding! It’s been a gorgeous snowy day and as I’m writing this, I’m watching the snow gracefully fall and begin to cover the lawn.

I thought it would be appropriate to start both the New Year and celebrate my friends wedding, with this with stunning Persian Jeweled Rice. I am not Persian, but do have background in Mediterranean cooking, which always interests me to try similar cultural foods, being that a lot of them overlap, Turkish, Persian and Lebanese for example.

Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

Persian jeweled rice, also known as “javaher polow” in Persian is known to be a traditional rice served at big celebrations, such as weddings. Which is why I thought it would be just perfect to showcase during the time I am celebrating my girlfriends wedding.

This rice dish is gorgeous. Colors pop out and it is as eye catching as it is flavorful. The prized possession is the “tah-dig” which I showed you to make when I made a basic Persian rice. Though, there is a bit of prep work, but basically the same technique as the previous. It all comes together and is really not that difficult to pull off. Plus, when you announce this gorgeous rice dish as your centerpiece at the dinner table, all eyes and jaws will widen with amazement.

I’ll take you step by step and show you how to make this rice. Although, like I said, I did not grow up with this Persian rice and have based this recipe off several others and I think it came out amazing. There are flavors of saffron and turmeric and sweet and citrus flavors of candied orange peel and crunchy pistachios. Everything blends together both aesthetically and deliciously!

Method:

1) First, in a small bowl soak a generous pinch of saffron in warm water. Allow to soak while setting up other ingredients.

Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

 2)   Place rice in a bowl and wash rice, rinsing several times until clear there is clear water. Fill up with water again and add a generous pinch of salt. Allow to soak for 20 minutes.

Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

3)   When ready, boil rice for 7-8 min. Rice should be “al dente” and be soft on the outside and hard inside. Drain rice and set aside.

4)  Next, using a vegetable peeler, peel orange skin into long strips. Use a small paring knife to cut off the inside white pith (this is bitter). Then cut the orange strips into thinner strips. Soak these in water and rinse 3 times, which helps cut the bitterness.

Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

5) To make the candied orange and carrots, in another small pot, bring 1/2 c sugar and 1/2 c water to a boil. Add orange strips and carrot strips and boil for 15 minutes on low. When done, set aside.

Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

6) In a separate pan, saute sliced onion in 1 Tb butter and oil until caramelized. About 10 minutes. Add turmeric and mix together well.

Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

6) To the onion mixture, add raisins, dried apricots, cumin and cardamom. Mix everything together and cook for another 2 minutes to cook off the spices.

Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

7) Add candied carrot and orange mixture to the fruit and onions and toss well.

Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

8)  Next, add the pistachios and almonds and toss to coat. Drizzle 1 Tb saffron water (that has been soaking). Toss everything together and set aside.

9) Melt 2Tb butter and a good drizzle of olive oil in a large pot. Then, in a small bowl, mix 1/4 c of reserved rice with 2 Tb of yogurt and 1 Tb saffron water. Place the rice mixture on the bottom of the large pot. This will help form a “tah-dig” to get a crispy bottom.

Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

10) Next, it’s time to layer. Add 1/3 of rice mixture, then 1/3 of fruit and nut mixture and continue until everything is used. Be sure to make a “pyramid” shape as you layer the rice.

Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

11) Use the back of a large wooden spoon to make holes in the rice. This will allow the steam to escape and ensure in a crispy bottom. Then, drizzle the rest of the saffron water on top + 1/2 cup water.

Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

12) Before closing the pot with a lid, wrap the lid in a towel and then close. The towel will help catch the moisture so the bottom will be crispy. Cook with lid on for 30 minutes on low flame.

Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

13) When ready, spoon rice and fruit mixture on a platter and serve.

Persian Jeweled Rice

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 onion, sliced thin (I used red, but white will do)
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup pistachio, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, and cut into small match sticks.
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup red raisins
  • Large pinch of saffron soaked in 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 3 Tb butter
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 2 Tb yogurt
  • Kosher salt, if needed

Instructions

  1. First, in a small bowl soak a generous pinch of saffron in warm water. Allow to soak while setting up other ingredients.
  2. Place rice in a bowl and wash rice, rinsing several times until clear there is clear water. Fill up with water again and add a generous pinch of salt. Allow to soak for 20 minutes.
  3. When ready, boil rice for 7-8 min. Rice should be "al dente" and be soft on the outside and hard inside. Drain rice and set aside.
  4. Next, using a vegetable peeler, peel orange skin into long strips. Use a small paring knife to cut off the inside white pith (this is bitter). Then cut the orange strips into thinner strips. Soak these in water and rinse 3 times, which helps cut the bitterness.
  5. To make the candied orange peel and carrots, in another small pot, bring 1/2 c sugar and 1/2 c water to a boil. Add orange strips and carrot strips and boil for 15 minutes on low. When done, set aside.
  6. In a separate pan, saute sliced onion in 1 Tb butter and oil until caramelized. About 10 minutes. Add turmeric and mix together well.
  7. To the onion mixture, add raisins, dried apricots, cumin and cardamom. Mix everything together and cook for another 2 minutes to cook off the spices.
  8. Add candied carrot and orange mixture to the fruit and onions and toss well.
  9. Next, add the pistachios and almonds and toss to coat. Drizzle 1 Tb saffron water (that has been soaking). Toss everything together and set aside.
  10. Melt 2Tb butter and a good drizzle of olive oil in a large pot. Then, in a small bowl, mix 1/4 c of reserved rice with 2 Tb of yogurt and 1 Tb saffron water. Place the rice mixture on the bottom of the large pot. This will help form a "tah-dig" to get a crispy bottom.
  11. Next, it's time to layer. Add 1/3 of rice mixture, then 1/3 of fruit and nut mixture and continue until everything is used. Be sure to make a "pyramid" shape as you layer the rice.
  12. Use the back of a large wooden spoon to make holes in the rice. This will allow the steam to escape and ensure in a crispy bottom. Then, drizzle the rest of the saffron water on top + 1/2 cup water.
  13. Before closing the pot with a lid, wrap the lid in a towel and then close. The towel will help catch the moisture so the bottom will be crispy. Cook with lid on for 30 minutes on low flame.
  14. When ready, spoon rice and fruit mixture on a platter and serve.
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Persian Jeweled Rice via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

Comments

    • SamanthaSamantha says

      You’re so sweet Caroline!! I’m not Persian, Turkish actually but I love the food so much which is very similar to ours. I hope you make it and please let me know! The next tahdig I want to make is the one with a crusty potato bottom!

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