Persian Jewelled Rice

jewelled rice in cast iron pot

This rice is amazing – it is crunchy, nutty, sweet, salty, and so fragrant! It’s one of my favourite rices to make for when people come over (not that we are doing much entertaining recently), but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a fun dish for just us! 

This dish is inspired by a dish we had at a restaurant in Toronto called Byblos, as well as a recipe by Bon Appetit! I just simplified it a bit based on what things I have at home! Try this dish out!

jewelled rice in cast iron pot

Persian Jewelled Rice

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 40 min


  • Rice:
  • 1 cup dry basmati rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Carrots and Orange:
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, cut into matchstick-size pieces
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

  • Filling:
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sumac (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (toasted)
  • 1/4 cup dried barberries or cranberries
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins

  • Topping:
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • reserved nuts and seeds



Boil water, add saffron and salt. Cook basmati rice as per package instructions. Set cooked rice aside to cool.


Bring sugar and water to a boil. Add the orange and carrots. Cook for 15 min, drain and set aside.


Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and oil. Add onions and cook until translucent and beginning to become golden. Add the cardamom, cumin, sumac, and salt. Add most of the dried fruit and nuts, reserving a small amount for the topping, as well as the orange and carrot mixture.


You can either mix the rice and fruit and nut mixture together and serve as is, or you can heat some oil in a pan, add 1/2 the rice mixture, 1/2 the fruit and nut mixture, and then toss the remaining together and empty on top.


Poke 3 holes in the rice down to the bottom and add 1 tablespoon of water to each hole.


Cook on medium low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the bottom is crispy.


Add the remaining nuts and seeds and pomegranate to the top and serve.

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