Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Javaher Polow - Persian Jeweled Rice!










     Jeweled rice is made for special occasions, like weddings, holidays and celebrations.  Exotic spices, dried fruits, orange zest, rose petals, pomegranate, walnuts and almonds create an irresistible aroma and flavor.  Persian jeweled rice is one of the greatest tasting rice entrees of all!  This is not your average everyday bowl of rice!

     This recipe makes 3 to 4 servings!
  
     Basmati Rice Preparation:
     Place 2 cups of basmati rice in a bowl.  (The rice has to be basmati rice for this recipe!)
     Cover the rice with twice as much water.
     Let the rice soak for 2 hours.
     Rinse the rice 7 times with cold water, till the water is clear when it is drained off.
     Place the soaked rice into a sauce pot.
     Cover the rice with twice as much water.
     Boil the rice over medium high heat for 10 minutes.
     Place the rice into a fine mesh strainer to drain off the hot water.
     Rinse the rice under cold running water, till it is completely cool.
     Set the rice aside.  (The rice will be only about halfway cooked at this point.)
   
     Dried Fruit Preparation:
     The fruits can be soaked in one bowl or separate bowls.  The fruits will have to be separated when assembling the rice later in the recipe.
     Place 9 dried apricots into a bowl.
     Add 10 large dates.
     Add 1/3 cup of black currants or dried barberries.
     Add 1/2 cup of golden raisons.
     Cover the dried fruit with water.
     Soak the dried fruits for about 1 hour, till they become partially reconstituted.
     Drain the water off of the fruit.
   
     Javaher Polow - Persian Jeweled Rice:
     Heat a saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 4 ounces of unsalted butter.
     Add 3/4 cup of thin sliced onion.
     Add 3 minced garlic cloves.
     Saute till the onions turn clear in color.
     Add 1/3 cup of thin shaved carrot slices.
     Add 1/3 cup of water.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of thin sliced fresh orange zest.
     Add 1/3 cup of fresh orange juice.
     Add 1 tablespoon of sugar.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom.
     Add 4 pinches of saffron or 1/2 tablespoon of safflower saffron.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.    
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
     Add 2 pinches of white pepper.
     Add sea salt.
     Simmer the ingredients for 1 minute.
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Set the seasoned butter sauce mixture aside to cool.
     Place the prepared basmati rice into a mixing bowl.
     Add the seasoned butter liquid mixture.
     Add 1/3 cup of sliced almonds.
     Add 1/3 cup of coarsely crushed walnuts.
     Add the soaked raisons, black currants or barberries.
     Slice the dates in half.
     Add half of the date halves.  (Reserve the other half of the date halves for later in the recipe.)
     Add 1/3 cup of pomegranate fruit.
     Add 1/2 cup of goats milk yogurt.
     Add 1 tablespoon of crumbled dried rose petals.
     Stir the rice mixture till it is combined.
  
     Molding the Rice:
     Brush a large bowl shaped baking mold with melted unsalted butter.
     Arrange a few of the apricots and reserved date halves on the bottom of the bowl.
     Spoon about one half of the rice mixture over the dried fruits and press it into place.
     Arrange the remaining dried fruits around the inside of the bowl on the edge of the rice.
     Add the remaining rice.
     Spread the rice evenly and press the rice into place.
     Sprinkle 1/4 cup of water over the rice.
     Cover the bowl tightly with a lid or aluminum foil.
     Bake in a 350ยบ oven for 1 hour.
  
     Plating the Jeweled Rice:
     Remove the lid from the baking mold.
     Allow the rice to rest and partially cool.
     Loosen the top edge of the rice around the bowl with a thin spatula.
     Place a serving platter over the baking mold.
     Invert the baking mold and platter together as one.
     Tap the bowl and platter against a counter top, till the molded jeweled rice lands on the platter.  (If the rice sticks and does not come out of the mold in one piece, then just mound the jeweled rice neatly on the platter.)
     Sprinkle some pomegranate fruit over the jeweled rice.
     Sprinkle a few drops of rosewater over the rice.
 
     The aroma of jeweled rice is amazing!  Rose petals, orange and saffron aromas fill the air.  Cardamom and cinnamon aromas soon follow.  The dried fruits and nuts give jeweled rice a nice rich flavor.
     The rice should be lightly crusted after baking.  My Persian jeweled rice in the pictures did partially stick in the baking mold, so do not feel bad if that happens.  Persian jeweled rice is a very nice plate of food to share with guests on a special occasion.  Yum!  ...  Shawna                  

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