First of all may I ask you please please try this dish. You have no idea how much this rice dish is gorgeous. It is simply celebration of fragrance, and color with spices , dried fruits like raisins, barberries ( tiny red berry), nuts such as pistachio and almond and orange peel and carrot.
Jewelled rice is traditionally served at wedding ceremony .It is named Jewelled rice due to the colours of ingredients: pistachio make green emeralds, barberries make red rubies, almonds make white pearls, orange peel – carrot make yellow amber and saffron make gold.
Making this dish is time commitment but but but, result is stunning.
3 cups basmati rice
2-3 pieces of chicken breast
1 large onion, finely chopped
¼ cup pistachios
¼ cup slivered almonds
2 medium julienne cut carrots
2 medium julienne cut orange skin
½ cup sugar
¼ cup dried barberries (or cranberries)
¼ cup raisins
Butter and oil
Salt- pepper to taste
1tbsp saffron water (put pinch of saffron threads in 3Tbsp boiled water and leave it to brew for 5 minutes, now you have saffron water)
¼ tsp cardamom powder
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cumin powder
1tbsp dried rose petal
Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Heat butter and 1tbs oil in a pan and add carrots. Fry carrots for 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat and pour into the sugar syrup.
Peel the orange skin and remove white part and cut the orange peel lengthwise. Boil these orange skins in hot water 2-3 times to remove bitterness from the peel and add it to carrot. Let to cook for 5 minutes over low heat.
Heat the oil in a large skillet, add chopped onion and sauté until soft, add turmeric, salt, chilli and pieces of chicken breast. Leave it to cook over medium to low heat. Once chicken is ready, add 1 Tbsp. saffron water to the chicken and gently stir it.
Sauté raisins for a couple of minutes. Also saute barberries with 1tsp sugar for 2 minutes.
Wash the rice with tapped water and soak the rice in water with 2Tbsp of salt and set aside for an hour.
In a pot bring to boil 8 cups of water. Drain salted water of rice and pour it into the boiling water in the pot.
Let it boil for 10 minutes and then drain in a colander, rinse with cool water.
In a large pot, heat 4 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Sprinkle half portion of drained rice at the bottom of pot. Layer the rice with carrot-orange zest mixture, nuts, raisins, barberries, rose petals, pinch of cinnamon and cardamom, repeat process with second portion of rice and remaining of ingredients.
Cover the pot with a lid and cook the rice for 20-30 minutes over low heat.
Once rice is done, serve it in a platter. Garnish with remaining of nuts, raisins, and barberries. Jewelled rice may be served either with chicken meat or without meat.