Persian Jeweled rice is a dish that is made for special occasions, I am guessing because it looks so festive, and the taste is exotic and unexpected. It’s not just plain old rice pilaf.
I love to give gifts from my kitchen for holiday gifts, but I wanted to make something that isn’t just the usual cookie or brownie mix in a jar. I wanted something savory that will require minimum fuss to go from jar to table.
This jeweled rice pilaf mix fits the bill perfectly. It only takes a few minutes of prep time, and then your friends and family will think you have been slaving for hours.
I did substitute a few things to keep the cost down. Traditionally, saffron would be used, but I added a little curry powder for taste and color. And, the traditional nut is pistachios, but I like pecans. You can use whatever spice and whatever nut you like.
The flavors and textures are such an unexpected treat – sweet and salty, soft and crunchy – a party in your mouth!
Just put this mix in layers in a pretty jar and attach the directions and there you have it – the perfect food gift!
JEWELED RICE PILAF MIX
2 cups long grain rice
1/2 cup diced dried fruits
1/4 cup nuts, such as walnuts, pecans or pistachios
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons dried parsley leaves
1 tablespoon candied orange peel (directions below)
Layer in decorative jars to give as gifts. Will store in cool dry place up to 3 months.
Directions for cooking pilaf:
Heat a large stockpot to medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and then add Jeweled Rice Pilaf Mix. Stir and cook until rice is translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in 5 cups of vegetable or chicken broth. Reduce to a simmer and cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until liquid is no longer visible above the top of the rice mix. Uncover and cook another 3 minutes, letting liquid evaporate. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
CANDIED ORANGE PEEL
Remove the peel from one orange with a vegetable peeler. Cut peel into thin strips. Add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Add orange peel strips and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove orange peel strips and let cool. Dice peel.
Food bloggers do jeweled rice: