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Geymeh Nesar

A traditional Persian dish from Qazvin region in Iran. It is a festival of colour and flavour. The Combination of rice mixed with meat (preferably lamb), saffron, barberries, orange peels, almonds and pistachios really make this dish unique & super tasty.

-Courtesy of Alireza Sarrafan

  • 91 - 120 Minutes
  • Hard
  • Serves 6




  • 4 Cups of Tilda grand extra long grain basmati rice.
  • 500g Lamb (cut into Mid/small cubes)
  • 1 Large Onion (Roughly chopped)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 Cups of Barberries
  • 100g Slivered Almonds
  • 1/2 Cup fried onions
  • 1/2 Cup Sliced Orange peels (Boiled & rinsed 3times)
  • 2 tbsp Brewed saffron
  • 1 tbsp Rose water
  • 3-4 tsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 Green cardamom Pods (Optional)
  • 50g Slivered pistachios (To Garnish)
  • Lukewarm water as needed ( too cook meat and rice)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

How to make Geymeh Nesar

  1. Wash the rice thoroughly and once the water is clear, Soak the rice for at least 30 mins with a dash of salt. make sure to drain this water before cooking.

  2. Cut the lamb in to 3-4 cm cubes and fry them with chopped onions, turmeric in 2tbsp oil until the meat releases all its juice.

  3. Stir in 2 tbsp of tomato paste in a glass of water, add it to the meat, then add one more glass of water (if needed). season with salt, pepper & a tsp of cinnamon and let it cook until the meat is tender and the sauce is thickened.

  4. While the meat is cooking prepare the rice.

  5. Bring to boil about one litre of water in a pot. add a dash of salt and oil and then add the rice.

  6. Reduce the heat to medium and par-cook the rice until it’s al-dente, this will take about 7-10 mins.

  7. Drain the rice and excess water through a strainer, rinse and pour some cold water over it so it will stop the cooking process.

  8. Spread the par-cooked rice in a pot and steam cook it for 30-40 mins on a low heat until its fluffy & aromatic.

  9. In a separate pan melt down some butter, then add 3 tbsp Barberries, 2 tbsp of slivered almonds, 1 tbsp of fried onions, 2tbsp of orange peels, Sugar , Brewed saffron, Cardamom pods (optional), rose water and saute them together until the sugar is dissolved or no more than 4-5 minutes .

  10. Once the rice is done, separate some of the rice in a bowl, add 2 tbsp brewed saffron to it as well as the Jewelled mixture, gently mix them together and set aside.

  11. Sauté the rest of Barberries, almonds & orange peels individually in a tsp of butter and a dash of rose water for final garnish. this is optional but worth the extra hassle as it would make your dish stand out specially if you are cooking this dish to serve in gatherings.

  12. To assemble, first add a bed of white fluffy rice topped with some of the jewelled rice and then spread the meat over it.

  13. Garnish them with Barberries, Almonds, pistachio, orange peels and fried onions.

  14. Serve with (Tahdig) Crispy rice from the bottom of the pot next minted yogurt.