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Iranian Jeweled Rice

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine arabic
Servings 4 serving


  • 1 cup Basmati rice Long grain
  • 2 tbsps Orange water blossom - divided
  • 1/8 tsp Saffron
  • 2 2 Carrots " - large, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 Orange - large
  • 3 tbsps Sugar - divided
  • 2 tsps Salt - divided
  • ½ cup Cranberries
  • 3 tbsp Almonds Sliced
  • 3 tbsps Pistachios - chopped
  • 3 tbsp Raisins
  • 1 tsp Cardamom Ground
  • 1 2 Cinnamon " stick


  • Prep the Rice: Wash and drain the rice well. Soak the rice with 1tsp salt for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • Prep the Orange: Peel the orange using a peeler into thick strips, it's OK to get a little bit of the white pith. Then, chop the peel into thin slivers. Boil some water in a small saucepan, add the slivers and boil for 1 minute. Then drain and rinse with cold water. This is supposed to remove the bitterness from the orange rind.
  • Make Orange blossom-Saffron water: In a mortar and pestle, grind saffron with a pinch of sugar into a powder. Stir in 2tsp of orange blossom water.
  • Prep the Dry Fruits: In a saute pan; heat 1tsp oil and add the almonds and pistachios. Saute until the nuts are golden, add the raisins and cook until raisins plump up. Remove into a small bowl, add the cranberries and set aside.
  • Prep the Carrots: Heat 2tsp orange blossom water, 1tsp oil, and 1tsp sugar in the same saute pan; add carrots and the orange slivers, mix well and cook for 2 minutes. Add the remaining sugar, remaining saffron-orange blossom water, cinnamon stick and ground cinnamon and cook for 1 more minute. Next add ½cup of water, bring the mixture a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15~20 minutes until the syrup thickens and the carrots are slightly caramelized. Drain the carrots and orange peel and reserve the syrup.
  • Prep the Rice: Bring a large pan of water to boil along with the remaining 1tsp of salt, once the water comes to a boil, add the rice and the remaining orange blossom water. Boil until the rice starts to float and is 70% cooked through, about 6~8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Turn it out into a bowl. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Gently stir in the reserved carrot/ orange syrup and the remaining 2tsp orange blossom water into the rice.
  • Take a large spoonful of rice at a time and gently spread it over the bottom of the pot. Give the pot a shake to even out the base. Add more spoonfuls of rice, one at a time, gradually shaping it into a pyramid.
  • Wrap the lid with a kitchen towel and close with the lid. This will prevent the steam from escaping. Cook for 15~20 minutes on very low flame until cooked through.
  • To Serve: Spread the rice on a platter, top with the sweet carrot & orange peel mixture and the nuts. Enjoy!!