Hi everyone, welcome to my blog!
Here I will post my kitchen experiments and favorite recipes. A little about my influences - I was born in Moldova, I grew up in Israel, I moved to the USA, and I studied abroad in both Argentina and France. I've also traveled quite a bit and had friends from all over the world, so you can expect to find quite the random assortment of foods on this blog! However, if they made it here it means they've been tried and joyfully devoured!
Cooking food from places around the world is a journey for me and I love finding recipes from places I've been or haven't been and give them a try, so if you have any favorites, don't hesitate to share!
So here it is, I finally decided to find me a place online where all my journeys can coalesce, enjoy!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Javaher Polow (Jeweled Rice)

Mixture prior to adding it to the rice

Javaher Polow is a very festive Persian rice served on very important and celebratory occasions. If you're looking for something original that's meant to impress, search no more! This rice is not only beautiful but also sweet yet sour, crunchy yet soft, and simply a perfect combination of very distinct flavors that you simply can't go wrong with! The rice itself is prepared according to the Persian Polow recipe with Saffron and is accompanied by an assortment of orange peel, carrots, barberries, raisins, pistachios, almonds, and hazelnuts. With this impressive list, how can you possibly resist making this dish? The only challenging ingredient in this list might be the barberries. Barberries are a common ingredient in persian cuisine and you might find them in an ethnic store near you; they are called "zereshk" in Persian in case you have to find them by their original name. They are somewhat sour tiny dried berries, most closely resembling cranberries if you absolutely had to substitute. Enjoy!

2.5 cups basmati rice
1 medium onion thinly sliced
½ cup sliced pistachios
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup chopped hazelnuts
1 cup barberries (zereshk)
½ cup raisins (red and white)
2 medium carrots, julienned
2 large oranges
½ cup sugar
½ tsp saffron
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp crushed rose petals
½ tsp turmeric
2 tbsp butter
vegetable oil

1.     Create ½ cup julienne cut orange skin. This can be easily done by using a "julienne cutter" found in many household item stores, or by peeling the skin with a peeler and cutting it into long thin pieces. Soak in cold water for 10 minutes, drain and repeat 2-3 times.
2.     Soak the crushed pistachios, almonds, and hazelnuts in cold water while prepping to allow them to soften.
3.     In a saucepan boil over medium heat ½ cup sugar with 1 cup water until sugar dissolves. Add ½ cup julienned oranges and ½ cup julienned carrots and cook on low heat for 15-20minutes.
4.     In a large skillet melt 2 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp vegetable oil.
5.     In the skillet, saute the onion until golden brown, then add turmeric and mix well. Add the barberries and sauté for 5min on medium-low heat.
6.     Add the raisins (1/2 cup of a combination of red and white raisins) and 1 tbsp of sugar. 
7.   Add the carrot and orange mix, the spices, and the nuts.
8.   Separately, in a large non stick pot boil roughly 8 cups of water, add 2tbsp salt, and add 2.5 cups of basmati rice.
9.   Boil the rice for about 10-15 minutes until it is soft on the outside but still hard in the middle. When it reaches this state drain the rice through a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. 
10.   In the large non stick pot (or persian rice cooker) add some vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pot and add 1/4 cup water.
12.   Put the half cooked rice in the pot, sprinkle some water on top (~1/4 cup), cover the lid with a kitchen towel to absorb the moisture, cover the pot well and set on medium-high heat for about 10minutes until you see that steam is starting to rise. Then lower the heat to low and let steam for 40min-1hr. Don't open the lid during the cooking process as the steam is essential for the rice to cook. 
13.   When ready, remove the rice from the pot until you reach a more solid layer. Leave the solid layer, place a large plate on top of the pot, and turn the pot upside down along with the plate so that the crunchy part (the tah-dig) falls right onto the plate.
14.   Mix 1/2tsp saffron with 1/2 cup boiling water and let set in a warm place for 10 minutes at least (do this while the rice is cooking). Pour the saffron mixture on the ready rice in the plate. It will cover some, not all of the rice. 
15.  Mix in the mixture of ingredients from step #7 into the rice.
16.   Serve!

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