Persian Jeweled Basmati rice

by Jonathan Cheung

The exquisite result and aroma is worth the time invested. This Persian Jeweled Basmati recipe is a great for a crowd or buffet table.

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Persian Jeweled Basmati rice


  • 2 cups/500mL Dainty Brown Basmati rice
  • 6 tbsp Butter
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • 1 large pinch of Saffron, soaked in 1/4 cup hot water
  • Zest from 1 Orange
  • 1 large pinch ground Cardamom
  • 1 large pinch ground Allspice
  • 1 large pinch ground Cumin
  • 1 large pinch ground Pepper
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup/65mL dried Corinthian Currants
  • 1/4 cup/65mL dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 cup/65mL dried golden Raisins
  • 1/3 cup/85mL slivered & toasted Almonds
  • 1/3 cup/85mL slivered & toasted Pistachios



Cook the Brown Basmati rice in your rice cooker, with 4 cups of water, according to package directions. Once cooked, rinse the rice under cold water and leave to drain and cool.


While rice is cooking heat a medium sauté pan over high heat. Add 2 tbsp butter and diced onion. Cook until browned.


Add 1 tbsp saffron water to the sauté pan, the orange zest, the cardamom, allspice, cumin, pepper and cinnamon stick. Cook 1-2 minutes.


Now add the currants, cranberries and raisins to the spice mixture. Season with salt, stir and remove from the heat.


Place a heavy bottom pot (or dutch oven) over medium heat. Add 4 tbsp butter, spread half the rice over the butter. Sprinkle the layer of rice with the onion-spice-fruit mixture. Top with the remaining rice. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.


Pour in the remaining 2 tbsp saffron water. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook another 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.


To Serve: Spoon the rice onto a large serving platter and sprinkle with toasted almonds and pistachios.

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