Jewelled rice

Submitted by: Katrina Stats
from Brigitte Hafner, 'Eat Your Crust', The Age, 28 August 2007, http://www.theage.com.au/news/epicure/eat-your-crust/2007/08/27/1188066984235.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap2

Serves: 4

Preparation time:

Dietary guidance: v 

Tags: eastern · middle · rice · persian ·

Ingredients

500g or 2 cups basmati rice
1 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp saffron threads
zest of 1 orange, cut into fine strips
4 heaped tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp cardamom pods, crushed
80g raisins, soaked in hot water
50g currants, soaked in hot water
80g pistachios, roasted and chopped
80g slivered almonds, roasted
3 tbsp chopped mint

Method

Jewelled rice

An attractive, fragrant and colourful rice dish that can be served with grilled marinated fish, chicken, lamb or beef.

INGREDIENTS
500g or 2 cups basmati rice
1 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp saffron threads
zest of 1 orange, cut into fine strips
4 heaped tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp cardamom pods, crushed
80g raisins, soaked in hot water
50g currants, soaked in hot water
80g pistachios, roasted and chopped
80g slivered almonds, roasted
3 tbsp chopped mint

METHOD
* Wash rice well in a colander then put in a pot with 1 tablespoon of salt and lukewarm water to cover. Allow to soak for at least one hour. Drain.

* Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the drained rice. Boil for about 5 minutes or until almost cooked - it should still have a little bite to it. Drain and rinse in lukewarm water.

* Roast the saffron threads in a moderate oven for 1-2 minutes then crush with the back of a spoon.

* Cook the orange zest in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes then drain.

* Melt 2 heaped tablespoons of butter in a pot then add the rice, cardamom pods, saffron and dried fruit. Stir to combine then dot with the remaining butter and cover the rice with a clean tea towel, tucking in the edges. Place a well-fitting lid over the top. Cook the rice over a low heat for 20-30 minutes. The tea towel will absorb the excess steam and the rice will separate and form a crisp brown layer on the bottom of the pot. Check that this golden brown crust has formed. Turn out onto a serving platter and stir in the remaining ingredients. Season to taste and serve.

Serves 4

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