Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Carly's Persian Cuisine Recipe 1 - Jeweled Rice

I have been meaning to share with you a recipe for a while.  My husband is half Iranian and I have to say Persian Cuisine is THE best food around! I try to cook at least one persian dish a week and now that we have Baby Belle I want to cook more and more. I really want to keep some of the persian culture alive for her.

So when I saw that Liz from LivingwithKids wanted some recipes to raise awareness of the White Ribbon Alliance Global Dinner Party campaign to coincide with International Women's Day I thought it was the perfect excuse to finally share one of my recipes with you.

Liz actually mentioned she liked Jeweled rice, called Javaher Polow, so that is what I shall give you.

Jeweled rice is the king of the rices and must be tried! It is one of the most popular persian dishes and served at weddings a lot. 

Ingredients: (Serves 8-10)
1 lb Basmati Rice

1/2 Cup Dried Barberries, Thinly Sliced
1/2 Cup Almonds, Thinly Sliced
1/2 Cup Pistachios, Thinly sliced
1/2 Cup Black Raisans
1/2 Cup Orange Marmalade/Peel, Thinly Sliced
2 tsp Saffron
6 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Sugar
Salt and Pepper

1.Dissolve saffron threads in 4 tablespoons boiling water water & set aside to soak. This will go on top of the rice once the rice is prepared & ready to be served.

2.Place basmati rice in a large bowl & fill with water. Wash several times by draining water & filling bowl with water again. The last time you fill the bowl with water do not drain & add salt. Set aside for 2-3 hours.

3.After 2-3 hours fill a non-stick pan with water half way & bring to boil. Drain salt water out of bowl & add basmati rice to boiling water, pour 1 tbsp of olive oil & continue to boil for about 10-15 mins.

4.In the meantime, in another pan, melt butter (leaving 2 tablespoons aside) & add sugar and heat until dissolved. One by one start to add barberries, almonds, pistachios, and raisans side by side so they don't touch. If needed use two pans. This is important for the presentation later on. Cook on low heat just to heat each item. Warm marmalade or orange peal in microwave for short time on low heat.

5.Drain rice in strainer. Place pot back onto medium heat and add the half of remaining olive oil to the bottom of the pot. Add drained rice back to pot and add the remainder of olive oil on top of rice.

6.Cover the lid of the pan with a cloth and cover the pan tightly. On medium heat, cook rice for about 30-45 minutes or until rice is completely coooked and soft and a golden rice crust forms (this is called tahdig) at the bottom of the pan. Make sure you don't overcook the rice or burn the bottom crust. Monitor rice at this point.

7.Once rice is cooked place, carefully laddle into large serving tray. With a spoon or laddle, start adding saffron mixture to rice in horizontal or vertical pattern. Then one by one add barberries, almonds, pistachios, raisans, and orange peel in a similar vertical/horizontal pattern so every ingredient on top of the rice is lined up side by side. The presentation of this rice is extemely important for Persians as this is usually served to large groups at celebrations i.e. engagements and weddings therefore depending on creativity the rice can become very beautifully designed. I sometimes just do seperate layers like the picture.

8.Once complete in a small pan melt additional butter. Pour over the rice. You can also use some extra virgin olive oil. This gives the additional "jeweled" look to the mixtures on top of the rice *

Serve with cooked chicken breast, leg or thigh.

And there you go. I never said persian cooking wasn't time consuming but it is most definately worth it!

*this recipe was adapted from Nibble Dish


  1. Wow looks wonderful. Mind you, you look stunning in the photograph!

  2. This sounds delicious - I've bookmarked for later. And I love your Persian outfit, you look gorgeous.

  3. aaw thanks ladies :) You are too kind xxx

  4. Looks really good Carly, will be ading it to my recipe book as one to try

  5. thanks Lorraine, it takes a little while to make but it is worth it! :)