Shirin Polow, Persian Orange Rice
Yield: Serves 6-8
- 3 1/2 cups (about 650 g) uncooked basmati rice
- 1 cup (50 g) dried orange zest or 100 g fresh orange zest, you can find the dried one in Persian stores
- 4 cups (280 g) matchstick carrots
- 1/2 cup unsalted almonds, slivered
- 1/2 cup pistachios, slivered
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground saffron
- 1/2 teaspoon rosewater, optional (you can find it at any Iranian store)
- canola oil
Dried orange zest:
Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron in 2 tablespoons of boiling water and set the dissolved saffron aside (click for How to Use Saffron), using for garnish.
Soak slivered pistachios and almonds in cold water for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.
In a large non-stick frying pan, heat 4 tablespoons of canola oil over medium heat; add carrots and saute for 4 minutes. Set aside.
Place the dried orange zest in a small pot. Pour 2 1/2 cups water over them and bring to a boil. Use a colander and drain out the water. Return orange zest to the pot. Pour water and bring to a boil. Drain again. Repeat 3 times to take away any bitter flavour that may be present. Then drain and set aside.
Place orange zest, sugar, carrots, 1 cup water and rosewater in a pot. Cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Then add 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron and cook covered until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, add almonds and pistachios; mix well. Set the orange zest mixture aside.
Meanwhile cook the rice (click for Persian Rice recipe). When rice is ready, in a small bowl mix 4-5 tablespoons of cooked rice with dissolved saffron, set the saffron rice aside.
To serve, place a layer of rice on a serving dish then a layer of orange zest mixture and combine well. Repeat the layers and sprinkle the saffron rice over them. Serve with Cooked Chicken or Persian Lamb Shanks.
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