|Javaher Polow with Tah-dig
Javaher Polow with Tah-dig | Persian Jewelled Rice with Scorched Rice
A Persian rice dish studded with slivered nuts and dry fruits fit for a grand celebration or a party.
Preparation time: 30 – 45 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes
1 cup = 250 ml capacity
Serves 4 (big servings)
For Saffron Water:
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon orange blossom water or rose water
1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup slivered pistachios
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup golden raisin
1/3 cup slivered orange rind (1 or 2 oranges)
1 large carrot cut into batons
1 or 2 tablespoon pomegranate arils
For Candied Orange Rinds & Carrots:
1 to 2 cups water – to boil the rinds to remove the bitterness
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoon prepared saffron water
For Caramelized Onion:
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1″ cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
2 teaspoon ghee or butter
1/4 teaspoon allspice powder(optional)
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder (optional)
For Polow or Rice:
1 and 1/2 cup basmati rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
1 tablespoon salt
5 to 6 cups water
Remaining prepared saffron water
Reserved syrup of candied rinds and carrots (approx. 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup water
3 to 5 tablespoon ghee or butter
1. If you do not have silvered nuts, just soak the almonds and pistachios in warm water overnight or for an hour. Then peel off the skin and chop the nuts lengthwise. Yes, it is time-consuming but worth the effort or you can buy ready-made silvered nuts.
2. You can add other dry fruits too. Traditionally, barberries are used instead of cranberries.
3. Javaher Polow can be prepared without tah-dig (bottom -pot) or the crispy rice crust. Add the ghee on top of the rice instead of the bottom of the pan.
4. You can skip the caramelized onions and just add the spices to the carrots and orange mix.
5. If you have dried rose petals, then nothing should stop you from garnishing with it
Mise en place
First, make sure you have all the ingredients in place in their required condition. The only three things you will need to use the knife are carrots, orange rind and onion, and of course the nuts if you don’t have them silvered. So, read the ingredients list carefully and keep all the items ready.
Prepare the saffron water
1. Crush the saffron threads with a dash of sugar to almost powder form. The granulated sugar helps in crushing the saffron threads.
2. Add the crushed saffron, orange blossom water, and warm water in a small bowl and let it rest.
Prepare the candied orange rinds and carrots
1. Boil enough water and drop the rinds into it. Let it boil for 5 minutes.
2. Drain the water off and rinse the rinds with cold water. This is to cut the bitterness. Taste and repeat if necessary.
3. Add the rinds back to the saucepan along with the carrots, some sugar, saffron water, and plain water. Let it boil and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until the water is reduced to half.
4. Remove the rinds and carrots and keep them aside.
5. Reserve the syrup.
Prepare the caramelized onions
1. Heat ghee in a pan and add the whole spices and chopped onions.
2. Saute the onions until browned but not burnt.
3. If you have Advieh, add 1/2 teaspoon here or like me, you can also add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin and allspice powder instead. Advieh is an Iran spice mix.
4. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl.
Parboil the rice
1. Take a large non-stick pot with a tight-fitting lid and bring 5 to 6 cups of water to a rapid boil over medium-high heat.
2. Add the drained soaked rice into the boiling water and bring back to a boil over medium-high heat for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the grains al-dente (almost cooked but fully done)
3. Drain the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cool water immediately. Stir the rice with a fork to let the steam escape. This will stop the cooking process.
Prepare the Javaher Polow, the Persian Jewelled Rice
If planning to make Tah-dig, the rice crust then,
1. Return the pot to heat add the ghee or butter and some of the saffron water and let it melt.
2. Swirl the pot to ensure all of the pot’s bottom is covered with ghee
3. Place a flat aluminum lid or a flat pan under the rice pot. This is to help even distribution of heat and prevent burning. This step is a must to ensure even heat distribution on a gas stove.
4. Transfer some of the parboiled rice to cover the bottom of the pot, at least 1/2 inch.
5. Start adding the remaining rice in the center of the pot over the bed of rice we added for tah-dig building it into a pyramid. Don’t have to level this.
6. Pour the reserved orange carrot syrup, any leftover saffron water, and the required water over the rice
7. Cover the pot with a tea towel close it with the tight lid and let it cook on the lowest flame for 45 to 50 minutes.
If you don’t want the crispy rice crust, then
1. Add all of the parboiled rice into the rice pot piling up in a pyramid shape.
2. Dot the rice pyramid with ghee or butter, any leftover saffron water, and the water
3. Cover the pot with a tea towel close it with the tight lid and let it cook on the lowest flame for 45 to 50 minutes.
Plating the Javaher Polow
1. Switch off, remove the lid and the tea cloth and place the pot over the folded tea cloth
2. Scoop 2 to 3 large spoons of rice into the caramelized onion bowl. To this, fold in a little of everything from nuts to fruits and keep aside.
3. Take a large serving plate, carefully scoop out the rice without disturbing the rice crust
4. Top the rice with the caramelized onion mix and the rest of the prepared jewels (reserve some for decoration, if you like to)
5. Carefully remove the crispy rice crust in large pieces and serve them separately
6. Decorate the top with the remaining nuts and dried fruits
7. Serve with a choice of kababs, salad, and yogurt!
|Javaher Polow with Tah-dig
Noosh-e-Jan! (Bon Appétit) I hope you enjoyed my post! Do try making this Persian Jewelled rice for your next celebration along with some amazing kabobs that Shanaz already has here. Thank you for this opportunity, dearest Shanaz! May Allah bless you and your work for years to come!