Persian Jeweled Rice

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جواهر پلو / عروس پلو / مرصح پلو 

Persian Jeweled rice (Javaher polo), also known as Bride’s rice, or Morasah rice, is a popular dish across all Iran. Traditionally served in large amounts at weddings, festivals, family gatherings, and new year’s celebrations. It usually served on a big round white copper tray by placing the steamed plain persian rice in the center and garnished with fruits, nuts, flowers & saffron.

Step-by-step Ingredients:

1. 800 g Iranian or basmati rice
60 g salt
2. 125 ml hot water
1 teaspoon saffron 
¼ teaspoon of sugar or salt 
3. 1 tablespoon Salt
125 ml vegetable oil
4. 4 tablespoons of your favorite vegan butter (or vegetable oil)
5. 40 g barberries
120 g carrot strips
120 g raisins
6. 100 g orange peels 
200 g sugar
200 ml water
7. 2 onions
2 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon turmeric
8. 4 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon sugar
40 g pistachios
40 g almonds
9. rose petals
 mallows

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Method:

1. Prepare the Iranian or basmati rice in advance. Wash it with warm water until clear, then soak it in salted warm water for at least 30 minutes.

2. Bring water to the boil; place the saffron and the sugar (or salt) into the pestle and crush them well, then add the hot water, stir and cover. Set aside for later.

3. It’s important that the rice has plenty of space while boiling, so choose a big pot; fill it with water, bring to the boil, add salt & the soaked rice. Stir very gently 2,3 times and let the rice cook for 5 to max 7 minutes, depending on the type of the rice. When cooked it should be “al dente” but easy to break between your fingers. Strain and use a fork to gently help the steam evaporate. Place the rice pot ( must be non-stick ) on a medium-high heat, add vegetable oil and 2,3 tablespoons of the saffron water; when the oil is hot, gently place all the rice into the pot using a fork ( do not pack the rice ), then transfer the rice from the edges into the center, making a shape of a cone.

4. Dot the rice with your favorite vegan butter or with the vegetable oil. Cover the pot with a lid wrapped in a clean kitchen cloth; this balances the steam while cooking and makes the perfect non-sticky persian rice. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes on a very low heat. (do not uncover the pot for at least 40 minutes).

5. Meanwhile, wash, rinse, and soak in cold water the barberries & the carrot strips and set aside.

6. Then make the candied orange peels by cutting off the white pith and slicing them into very thin strips. Place them in a bowl of cold water, change the water 3 times. To remove the bitterness of the orange, bring the peels to a boil 2,3 times, every time starting with cold water. Then place them in the same pot with sugar & water, bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

7. Place a pan on a medium-low heat, pour some vegetable oil, lengthwise sliced onions, cook them half through, then add the spices: the cinnamon stick, the cardamom pods, the turmeric, and 1 tablespoon of the prepared saffron. Stir and cook the onions until golden-brown & caramelized, then remove from the pan and set aside.

8. In the same pan, on a medium heat, cook half of the barberries and carrots in water & sugar, add half of all the other ingredients (cooked onion, raisins, orange peels, pistachios, almonds), then turn the heat off and add about 2,3 cups of the cooked rice, the rest of the saffron water, and gently mix all together.

9. Place the white rice in a beautiful oval, or large round, plate, garnish with the mixture and the remaining ingredients. I love to add very few rose petals & mallows to make it more colorful.

by Noghlemey (Mahroo Amiri)

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