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Jewelled Rice

Dried, ground rose petals give this rice a fragrant finish.

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time40 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium

For the spice mix

2 tbsp ground dried rose petals
2 tbsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp ground fennel

For the rice

400g basmati rice
2 large carrots, cut into julienne
3 oranges, peeled cut into thin slivers and the juice of 1 set aside
3cm piece of ginger, grated
200g sugar
4-6 tbsp oil or ghee plus extra ghee or butter for layering the rice (approx.)

For the spice mix:

Using a mixing bowl, combine all the spices together and store in an air tight container. You will need approximately two teaspoons for the jewelled rice recipe.

Preheat the oven to 200°C

Wash the rice in hot water, rinse several times in cold water to remove as much starch as possible, then soak in cold water with salt for at least 30 minutes. Rinse and drain.

In the meantime, put the slivered orange peel into a saucepan and cover with water, Bring to the boil and drain.

Once you have drained the orange peel, use the same saucepan and put the blanched orange peel back into the pan along with the carrots, ginger, sugar and 240ml water.

Bring to the boil and continue to do so for 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Fry the onions with either oil or ghee over a medium high heat and add the garlic. Fry until the onions turn golden brown.

Now add the barberries, dried cherries, and the raisins. Cook for a minute.

Remove and set aside. Reserve a third for garnishing, the rest for layering.

Using a separate large saucepan, bring 1.5 litres of water to the boil.

Once the water reaches a rolling boil add the drained rice. Pour along with some salt and a drizzle of ghee or oil to keep the grain separate.

Boil briskly for one to two minutes, as you only want the rice to par cook, then strain the rice through a colander.

Immediately run cold water over the rice to stop the cooking process, leave to stand.

Using the same pan, melt four tablespoons of butter and cover the base with a layer of the cooked rice.

Drizzle a small amount of the saffron milk and a small pinch of the spice mix over the rice.

Now place two spatulas of rice on top of the seasoned rice with some of the carrot and orange mixture, half a teaspoon of the spice mix, a sprinkling of saffron milk, and some of the fried onion mixture. Repeat the layering process until you have used up all the rice, the carrot/orange mixture and the onion/berry mixture.

Mix together the orange juice with the chicken stock and pour over the rice, along with any leftover saffron milk. Cover the mouth of the pan with a clean kitchen cloth and close firmly with a fitted lid.

Place the pot into the oven at 200°C for 10 minutes allowing the steam to build up then reduce the heat to l80°C and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and serve the rice on a large platter.

Garnish with pistachio nuts and the remainder of the fried onion and berry mixture.

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