Traditionally served at weddings, Javaher Polow, as it’s known in Iran, really lives up to its name. The gorgeous colors and flavors make this rice dish as beautiful to see as it is delicious to eat.

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Serves 6-8

1⁄3 cup pistachios

1⁄3 cup slivered almonds

2 cups basmati rice

3½ cups water

2 tablespoons orange blossom water

1 orange, zest peeled and sliced into ½” slivers

¼ cup dried barberries

¼ cup golden raisins

½ teaspoon saffron

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon turmeric

½ cup pomegranate seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Roughly chop the pistachios.
  3. Toast the pistachios and slivered almonds on a sheet tray until lightly browned. Set aside.
  4. Rinse rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
  5. Bring the 3½ cups of water and orange blossom water to a boil in a pot, and add rice.
  6. Reduce heat to low and cover.
  7. Cook until rice is tender. This will take about 15 minutes.
  8. Combine barberries, raisins, and orange zest in a small bowl and cover with hot water to soak until barberries and raisins have plumped up. This will take about 7 minutes.
  9. Drain.
  10. Place saffron in another small bowl and add ¼ cup hot water. Set aside.
  11. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  12. Add onion and sauté until it starts to caramelize. This will take about 8–10 minutes.
  13. Add cardamom, cumin, turmeric, and 1 tablespoon saffron mixture.
  14. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant. This will take about 1 minute.
  15. Reduce heat to low and add barberries, raisins, and zest.
  16. Cook for a couple of minutes, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  17. In a large bowl, gently mix rice with the onion and fruit mixture, remaining saffron, reserved nuts, and pomegranate seeds.


Photography by FOOD STYLING by Eugene Jho | PROP STYLING by Nidia Cueva | PHOTOGRAPHY by Armando Rafael

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