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Pistachios, saffron and cranberries add color to a beloved Iranian rice dish
Milk Street Bowtie Persian Jeweled Rice (Javaher Polow)

Persian Jeweled Rice (Javaher Polow)

55 minutes 20 minutes active

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Persian Jeweled Rice (Javaher Polow)

Free

This rice pilaf is named for the colorful dried fruits and nuts that embellish the saffron-tinted basmati rice. Traditionally, jeweled rice is a labor-intensive dish; we've created a simplified version that's visually stunning as well as richly, deeply flavorful. We almost always toast nuts to enhance their flavor and texture, but here raw pistachios are best, as they are more vivid in color and subtler in flavor than toasted or roasted.

4

Servings

Tip

Don't forget to rinse and drain the rice. Rinsing removes excess starch so the grains cook up fluffy and light.

55 minutes

20 minutes active

1 teaspoon saffron threads
4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter
2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped, divided
Ingredients
  • 1
  • 4

    tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter

  • 2

    medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained

  • 2

    teaspoons ground cumin

  • teaspoons ground cardamom

  • 2

    medium carrots, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup)

  • 1

    cup dried cranberries

  • 1

    teaspoon finely grated orange zest

  • ½

    cup shelled pistachios, chopped, divided

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Reviews
Michele R.

A much simpler version of the Persian jeweled rice recipe we usually prepare and equally as delicious. Only note would be to try to find dried barberries to use instead of dried cranberries here. They are pretty easy to source at Arabic markets these days or search online. They are a little more tart and we think they make this even better. (Rinse them well before using.) And we like to mix them up in equal parts with small dice of dried apricots and golden raisins. (1/3C of each) This recipe is easy to cut in half (we did that once) but leftovers are good too.

Amy J.

Lovely recipe. Not only beautiful to look at but delicious as well and somewhat unexpected as a side dish.

Diana L.

It was really good (I only did one change. I put 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom). I make a similar recipe called "plov" (from Baku, Azerbaijan). It has dried apricots, golden raisins, and chestnuts and its paired with cooked lamb or beef.


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Persian Jeweled Rice (Javaher Polow)

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

55 minutes

20 minutes active

Tip

Don't forget to rinse and drain the rice. Rinsing removes excess starch so the grains cook up fluffy and light.

Ingredients
  • 1
  • 4

    tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter

  • 2

    medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained

  • 2

    teaspoons ground cumin

  • teaspoons ground cardamom

  • 2

    medium carrots, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup)

  • 1

    cup dried cranberries

  • 1

    teaspoon finely grated orange zest

  • ½

    cup shelled pistachios, chopped, divided

Step 1 of 3

Steep the saffron

1
teaspoon saffron threads

In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the saffron with 2 ⅔ cups water. Microwave on high until the water has taken on a yellow hue, about 1 minute; set aside.

Step 2 of 3

Stir together the spices and simmer the rice

4
tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter
2
medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2
cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
2
teaspoons ground cumin
teaspoons ground cardamom
2
medium carrots, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup)
1
cup dried cranberries

In a 12-inch skillet over medium, melt the butter. Add the onions and 1 teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and light golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.


Stir in the rice, cumin, cardamom, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the grains are lightly browned and no longer translucent, 4 to 7 minutes.


Stir in the saffron water, the carrots and cranberries. Bring to a boil over medium-high, then cover, reduce to low, and cook until the rice has absorbed the liquid and the carrots are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 3 of 3

Fluff the rice

1
teaspoon finely grated orange zest
½
cup shelled pistachios, chopped, divided

Fluff the rice with a fork, then stir in the orange zest and ¼ cup of pistachios. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a shallow bowl and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup pistachios.

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