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Persian Jewelled Rice

This Persian Jewelled rice dish is a real celebration of taste and aroma also known as Javaher Polo. The dish honours rice as an ancient staple and is a showcase of delicious aromas starting with Basmati with gemstone colours of saffron, orange peel of gold, barberries of rubies, pistachios of emeralds and almonds of pearls.

  • Medium
  • Serves 4




  • 500g Tilda Original pure basmati rice, rinsed well
  • ½ tsp saffron threads
  • 4 tbsp butter (or coconut oil)
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp of ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • finely julienned rind of 1 lemon
  • 120g cup dried barberries
  • 150g dried apricots, diced
  • 100g cup orange peel
  • 100g cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 100g cup pistachios, toasted
  • 1 pomegranate seeded for garnish
  • 100g of Butter


  1. Mix the saffron threads into a 4 tsps of hot water, Set aside.

  2. Soak the rice for 30 minutes in cold water. Rinse the rice thoroughly when you drain it and set aside.

  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the fennel and cumin seeds until they are fragrant, just a minute or two. Add the cinnamon, cardamom and allspice and stir to combine. Add the onion and saute over low heat until the onion is softened, about 10 minutes.

  4. Add in the rice and saute it for a minute or 2 with the spices and onion.

  5. To 1 litre of water add the bay leaves and lemon rind. Stir to combine, season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

  6. Add in the fruit and nuts, stir to combine, and cover the skillet with a tight fitting lid. Cook on low to medium heat for about 8 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it sit, covered to let it steam dry. Add the saffron water in swirls and let this sit for another 10 minutes.

  7. When the rice is done, fluff it, remove the bay leaves, and spoon onto a large platter. Scatter the pomegranate seeds on top to garnish.