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+ servings

Jeweled Rice

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup pistachios, unsalted
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • 2 cups brown basmati rice
  • kosher salt
  • 1 orange
  • cup natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw or Turbinado)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, and cut into matchstick-size pieces
  • ¼ cup dried barberries (or ½ cup dried cranberries)
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric

Instructions

  • Toast the Nuts
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F
  • Spread the pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until they're just beginning to brown (~ 4 minutes). Transfer them to a plate, let them cool, and then coarsely chop
  • On the same baking sheet, spread the almonds and toast until their golden brown (~ 5-8 minutes). Let cool and set aside

  • Pre-Cook the Rice
  • Place rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until water runs clear.
  • Cook the rinsed rice in a large pot of boiling, salted water, stirring occasionally until grains have lengthened but are still firm, 6–7 minutes; drain and rinse again under cold water.
  • Spread the rice on another rimmed baking sheet and let cool

  • Cook the Carrots
  • Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from orange and thinly slice it lengthwise (reserve the flesh for another use).
  • In a medium saucepan, add the sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar
  • Add the orange zest and carrots, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender (~ 15–20 minutes).
  • Drain and set aside (discard the syrup)

  • Prepare the Barberries, Raisins, and Saffron
  • Combine barberries and raisins in a small bowl. Cover with hot water and let soak 10-15 minutes, or until they've pumped up. Drain and set aside.
  • In another small bowl, add the saffron threads and ¼ cup hot water. Set aside

  • Fruit and Nut Mix
  • In a large skillet over medium, heat the butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil.
  • Add the onion, season with sea salt, and cook, stirring often, until soft and beginning to brown (~ 8–10 minutes)
  • Add the cardamom, cumin, turmeric, and 1 Tbsp of the saffron mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (~ 1 minute)
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the barberries and raisins; cook, stirring often (~ 3 minutes).
  • Stir in the reserved roasted nuts, orange zest, and carrot mixture; season with salt.
  • Set fruit and nut mixture aside

  • Jeweled Rice
  • Heat the remaining 3 Tbsp oil in a large wide heavy pot, over medium heat.
  • Add half of the rice, spreading evenly.
  • Top with the fruit and nut mixture, then the remaining rice, spreading evenly.
  • Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke holes in the rice, all the way through to the bottom of the pot (to release steam and help the rice cook evenly).
  • Drizzle the remaining saffron mixture over rice. Place a clean kitchen towel over the pot, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and secure loose edges of towel on top of the lid, using a rubber band or masking tape.
  • Cook until the pot has begun to steam (~ 5–8 minutes)
  • Reduce heat to very low and cook, without stirring, until the rice is tender and the bottom layer of the rice is browned and crisp (~ 30–40 minutes)
  • Scoop rice into a wide serving bowl, breaking the bottom crust into pieces

  • DO AHEAD: Fruit and nut mixture can be made 2 days ahead. Cover fruit and nut mixture and remaining saffron mixture separately and chill.