4 Awesome Recipes From The Middle East


1) Jeweled Rice (Morasa Pulao) (1 of 4)

Jeweled Rice (Morasa Pulao)

1) Jeweled Rice (Morasa Pulao) (1 of 4)


Iran is home to some of the most stunning ranges of rice dishes and pulaos. It is a mainstay at most weddings and banquets, with the jeweled, glorious, and shimmering stripes of nuts and fruits mixed in with steaming saffron rice.


  • Salt and black pepper
  • Flavorless oil, for frying
  • Butter or ghee, for frying
  • 75g orange peel
  • 600g basmati rice
  • 50g pistachios
  • 50g almonds
  • 3 tsp 'rice spice' (advieh pulao – usually 2 parts cinnamon to 1 part each ground cardamom, rose petals and nutmeg)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 100g raisins, soaked and drained
  • 100g barberries or cranberries, soaked and drained
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • ½ tsp ground saffron steeped in boiling water

Serves 4 as a starter


  1. First you have to prepare the fruity, nutty bits. Blanch the nuts in boiling water and then fry the raisins and barberries separately in some butter, until they are puffed. Then fry the onion, orange peel, and carrot in oil until they are soft.
  2. Cook the rice according to instructions, and add the rice spice with liquid saffron until they are cooked.
  3. Turn the rice out and lay out the stripes of the jewels on top in pretty rows, with some color contrast. Most Iranians serve the jewels mixed into the rice, since it is easier to prepare, but it isn’t to everyone’s liking. Serving them on top is easier and looks superb as well.

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