Jeweled Rice

We hadn’t had any Indian food for awhile, and in my search for a recipe to make, I came across this. It is not Indian at all, but it had some of the same seasonings which I was craving. This led to my first experience eating pistachios and being aware of what I was eating. They are super tasty! I can see why they cost so much. I was sad I had to buy a whole container initially, but after trying them, I am ok with it. You can buy some of these ingredients already prepped, such as the carrots and slivered almonds, but it’s not necessary. I love my food processor for doing carrots. It does it in under a minute and they taste better than the store-shredded kind.

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I served our jeweled rice with some chicken to add some protein. We had the leftovers other ways, too, like with soft poached eggs. Mmm.

Pretty shredded carrots

Pretty shredded carrots

I bought these slivered.

I bought these slivered.

Some of these got sampled first.

Some of these got sampled first.

I roasted the nuts in a 325 degree oven for a few minutes until they got browned and smelled good. You can also buy roasted nuts, but again, not always as fresh as doing it yourself.

This recipe is a bit involved, but there is a nice chunk of time near the end where you can either prep other things or do something else since it is hands-off time.

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The browned rice bits are the best part!

Directions for Jeweled Rice

Adapted from Bon Appetit

  • ¼ cup pistachios (roasted), if unsalted, add a bit of salt when you add the nuts
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds, roasted
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4-5 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (the food processor is great for this)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Olive oil
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt

Cook the basmati rice in 3.5 cups boiling water until the grains have lengthened but are still firm (about 7-8 minutes). Drain the rice and rinse it under cold water. Then, spread it out to dry on a baking sheet.

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Meanwhile, bring the sugar and 1.5 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan.

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I added the orange zest early.

When the sugar is dissolved, add the orange zest and carrots. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the carrots are tender.

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Drain and set aside.

Combine the dried cranberries and raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let them soak for 10 minutes before draining.

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In a different small bowl, soak the saffron in ¼ cup hot water.

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Heat the butter and a little olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it browns (about 10 minutes).

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Add the cardamom, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and 1 Tablespoon of the saffron mixture.

I didn't grind my coriander. Oops.

I didn’t grind my coriander. Oops.

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Cook for about 1 minute. Then, reduce the heat to low and add the cranberries and raisins.

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Stir and cook for a few minutes before adding the nuts and carrot mixture.

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Add some salt to taste. Set aside.

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In the same Dutch Oven, or in another large pot, heat enough oil to cover the bottom over medium heat. Add half of the rice, spreading it evenly across the bottom. Then, top with the fruit and nut mixture. Then add the remaining rice, spreading evenly. Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke several holes all the way to the bottom of the pot.

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Drizzle the remaining saffron mixture on top.

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Optional: Add some fried shallots on top

Optional: Add some fried shallots on top

Place a kitchen towel on the pot, then cover with a lid.

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If necessary, secure the ends of the towels. When the pot begins to steam, reduce the heat to low and cook without stirring for about 30 minutes.

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The rice will be tender, and the bottom layer will be browned and crisp.

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Serve the rice with the bottom rice on top.

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Directions for Jeweled Rice (without pictures)

Adapted from Bon Appetit

  • ¼ cup pistachios (roasted), if unsalted, add a bit of salt when you add the nuts
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds, roasted
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4-5 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (the food processor is great for this)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Olive oil
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt

Cook the basmati rice in 3.5 cups boiling water until the grains have lengthened but are still firm (about 7-8 minutes). Drain the rice and rinse it under cold water. Then, spread it out to dry on a baking sheet.

Meanwhile, bring the sugar and 1.5 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. When the sugar is dissolved, add the orange zest and carrots. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the carrots are tender. Drain and set aside.

Combine the dried cranberries and raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let them soak for 10 minutes before draining. In a different small bowl, soak the saffron in ¼ cup hot water.

Heat the butter and a little olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it browns (about 10 minutes). Add the cardamom, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and 1 Tablespoon of the saffron mixture. Cook for about 1 minute. Then, reduce the heat to low and add the cranberries and raisins. Stir and cook for a few minutes before adding the nuts and carrot mixture. Add some salt to taste. Set aside.

In the same Dutch Oven, or in another large pot, heat enough oil to cover the bottom over medium heat. Add half of the rice, spreading it evenly across the bottom. Then, top with the fruit and nut mixture. Then add the remaining rice, spreading evenly. Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke several holes all the way to the bottom of the pot. Drizzle the remaining saffron mixture on top. Place a kitchen towel on the pot, then cover with a lid. If necessary, secure the ends of the towels. When the pot begins to steam, reduce the heat to low and cook without stirring for about 30 minutes. The rice will be tender, and the bottom layer will be browned and crisp.

Serve the rice with the bottom rice on top.

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2 thoughts on “Jeweled Rice

  1. This really appeals to me from just the name to the way it looks. Basmati rice is so darn delicious and the saffron, spices, nuts must make for such a wonderful combination! I love Indian food. I try to stay away from the buffets because when we do go, I end up leaving about 5 pounds heavier than when I walked in! But I think it’s worth it.

    • My husband really loves basmati rice, too! I think it’s ok for the texture, but I prefer jasmine for flavor. We don’t have many buffets near us, so that helps with avoiding them and their weight gain. 😀

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