Persian Jeweled Rice
The View From the Great Island
Persian Jeweled Rice is a spectacular rice pilaf topped with colorful gem-like fruits and nuts ~ this popular wedding dish is a celebration in itself!
- 0.5 tsp saffron threads
- 2 tbsp butter
- 0.25 tsp fennel seeds
- 1.4 tsp Cumin seeds
- a rounded 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- a rounded 1/8 tsp cardamom
- a rounded 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1 medium onion
- 1.5 cups basmati rice, rinsed well
- 2 bay leaves
- finely julienned rind of 1 lemon
- 0.25 cup dried tart cherries
- 0.25 cup dried Turkish apricots
- 0.25 cup dried figs
- 0.25 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 0.25 cup pistachios, toasted
- seeds of 1 pomegranate for garnish
- Mix the saffron threads in 2 1/4 cups of hot water, Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the fennel and cumin seeds until they are fragrant, just a minute or two. Add the cinnamon, cardamom and allspice and stir to combine. Add the onion and saute over low heat until the onion is softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add in the rice and saute it for a minute or 2 with the spices and onion.
- Pour in the saffron infused water, along with the bay leaves and lemon rind. Stir to combine, season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Add in the fruit and nuts, stir to combine, and cover the skillet with a tight fitting lid. Cook on low to medium heat for about 12 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it sit, covered, for another 10 minutes.
- When the rice is done, fluff it, remove the bay leaves, and spoon onto a large platter. Scatter the pomegranate seeds on top to garnish.