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