Health & Food Demo


AHMAD Recipes 767

Najmieh Batmanglij is an Iranian American chef and author of several award-winning cookbooks, including her most recent title, Joon: Persian Cooking Made Simple. Recipe courtesy of Mage Publishers.

Serves 6

· 3 cups long-grain white basmati rice
· 1 cup dried barberries
· 1 cup oil, butter, or ghee
· 1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
· 1/4 cup sliced raw pistachios
· 1/2 cup seedless golden or green raisins
· 1 tsp ground saffron dissolved in 1/4 cup orange blossom water
· 1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
· 3–4 large oranges (1 cup slivered orange peel)
· 2–3 large carrots (2 cups peeled and cut 3-inch strips)
· One 4-inch cinnamon stick
· 2 tsp ground cardamom
· 1 tbsp orange blossom water


Wash the rice by placing it in a large container and covering it with water. Agitate gently with your hand, then pour out the water. Repeat 5 times. To soak the rice, cover with water, add 2 tablespoons of salt, and allow to soak for 2 to 24 hours (soaking results in longer grains of rice). Drain in a fine-mesh colander. Set aside.


Clean barberries by removing their stems and any grit. Place the barberries in a fine-mesh colander, and place the colander in a large container full of cold water. Allow barberries to soak for 20 minutes. Any sand will settle to the bottom. Take the colander out of the container and run cold water over the barberries. Drain and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and pistachios, and stir-fry for 20 seconds. In the same skillet, place 1 tablespoon oil, 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons sugar and the barberries, and stir-fry for 4 minutes over medium heat. (Beware, barberries burn easily!) Set aside. Add the raisins and give it a stir, transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, place 1 tablespoon oil, 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons sugar and the barberries, and stir-fry for 4 minutes over medium heat. (Beware, barberries burn easily!) Set aside.

To remove the bitterness from the orange peel:

Drop the orange peel in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and the orange peel, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar, a drop pexels-photo-103888 of the saffron-infused orange blossom water, the cinnamon and the cardamom, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add 1 cup water, bring to a boil, and cook over medium-high heat for 7 to 10 minutes until lightly caramelized. Drain, reserving the syrup. Set aside.

In a large non-stick pot (I use a 5-quart Anolon pot that is 11.25 inches in diameter and 3.25 inches deep), add 10 cups water and 2 tablespoons salt, and bring to a boil. Pour the washed and drained rice into the pot and add 1 tablespoon orange blossom water. Boil briskly for 6 to 10 minutes (depending on the type of basmati rice you are using). Bite a few grains of rice. If the rice feels soft and all of it has risen to the surface, it is ready. Drain the rice in a large, fine-mesh colander and rinse with 2 cups water.

To make a golden crust (tah-dig): In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup oil, 1/4 cup water, a few drops of saffron-orange blossom water, 3 spatulas of rice (about 2 cups), and spread the mixture over the bottom of the pot. Give the pot a shake to even out the base.

Take one spatula full of rice at a time and gently place it on top of the saffron-rice mixture, gradually shaping the rice into a pyramid. This shape leaves room for the rice to expand and enlarge. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium-high heat.

Swirl 1/2 cup water, the remaining oil and the reserved syrup from earlier over the rice.

Wrap the lid of the pot with a clean dish towel and cover firmly to prevent steam from escaping. Cook for 70 minutes over low heat.


Remove the pot from heat. Allow to cool on a damp surface for 2 minutes without uncovering it. This helps to free the crust from the bottom of the pot. Uncover and loosen the edges with a wooden spoon.

Gently taking one spatula full of rice at a time (use a wooden spatula and don’t disturb crust), place it on a serving platter in alternating layers with the caramelized carrot mixture, caramelized barberries, and the almonds, pistachio, and raisin mixture. Mound the rice in the shape of a cone.

Detach the crust from the bottom of the pot using a wooden spatula, place on a small platter, and serve on the side. Nush-e Jan!

Written by

My name is Randy Patterson, and I’m currently looking for a job in youth services. I have 10 years of experience working with youth agencies. I have a bachelor’s degree in outdoor education. I raise money, train leaders, and organize units. I have raised over $100,000 each of the last six years. I consider myself a good public speaker, and I have a good sense of humor.

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