Jewelled rice

Jewelled rice
Jewelled rice Photo: Marina Oliphant

Jewelled rice


500g or 2 cups basmati rice

1 tbsp salt

1/4 tsp saffron threads

zest of 1 orange, cut into fine strips

4 heaped tbsp butter

1/2 tbsp cardamom pods, crushed

80g raisins, soaked in hot water

50g currants, soaked in hot water

80g pistachios, roasted and chopped

80g slivered almonds, roasted

3 tbsp chopped mint


Wash rice well in a colander then put in a pot with 1 tablespoon of salt and lukewarm water to cover. Allow to soak for at least one hour. Drain.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the drained rice. Boil for about 5 minutes or until almost cooked - it should still have a little bite to it. Drain and rinse in lukewarm water.

Roast the saffron threads in a moderate oven for 1-2 minutes then crush with the back of a spoon.

Cook the orange zest in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes then drain.

Melt 2 heaped tablespoons of butter in a pot then add the rice, cardamom pods, saffron and dried fruit.

Stir to combine then dot with the remaining butter and cover the rice with a clean tea towel, tucking in the edges. Place a well-fitting lid over the top. Cook the rice over a low heat for 20-30 minutes. The tea towel will absorb the excess steam and the rice will separate and form a crisp brown layer on the bottom of the pot. Check that this golden brown crust has formed. Turn out onto a serving platter and stir in the remaining ingredients. Season to taste and serve.