Jewelled Rice

This fragrant Persian-inspired side dish is an absolute showstopper and an unexpected addition to the traditional menu.

Note: a substitute for saffron threads’s colour is tameric


10 servings


  • 3 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rice, preferably basmati
  • 1 large orange
  • 1/2 cup each dried apricots and dried cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 3/4 cup pistachios in shell
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped parsley or cilantro


  1. In a large saucepan, bring water and salt to boil. If using chicken broth, omit salt. Add rice to boiling water. Stir, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 min.
  2. Meanwhile, finely grate peel from orange. Chop apricots. After rice has cooked 10 min, stir in peel, apricots, cranberries and saffron threads. Cover and continue to cook until water is completely absorbed, from 10 to 15 more min. Meanwhile, shell nuts and chop along parsley. Taste cooked rice and add more salt if needed. Stir in pistachios and parsley.