I am proud to be part of a Persian Food Bloggers’ collaboration to present our 3rd annual recipe round-up for Nowruz/Naw-Rúz! Please note Inlinkz’ thumbnails at the end of this post to visit all the other Persian recipes presented with love for the festivity. Naw-Rúz is a celebration of the first day of spring (this year March 20), a New Year, a New Day! It is celebrated by many nations and hundreds of millions of people all over the world!
For this Naw-Rúz, I am presenting morasa polo (jeweled rice). This rice is called morasa because of the elaborate colorful decorations made on the top of polo/Persian style rice. When the same garnished ingredients are all mixed with polo, it is called javaher polo (another name meaning jeweled rice). If all the sweetened garnish ingredients are steamed in layers with the rice and when being served, sprinkled with slivered pistachios and almonds, it is called shirin polo (sweet rice). In other words, depending on how it is served, the dish is referred to by a different name.
Morasa, javaher or shirin polo are rice dishes associated with auspicious events, especially weddings. In the old days, when cooks were ready to dish out the ‘sweet rice’, bride and groom were called to stand by when the lid of the pot was opened, so the sweetness that escapes the pot would be caught by them to bring sweetness to their lives. And, of course, when it is served in Naw-Ruz, to have sweetness throughout the year.
Morasa, Javaher, Shirin Polo • مرصع - جواهر- شیرین پلو • Persian Jeweled Rice
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
• 450 g/ 2¼ cups basmati rice, cooked Persian style, recipe > here
Tortilla/lavash tah-dig is recommended, to retrieve more loose rice and avoid rice tah-dig.
If rice tah-dig is preferred, cook 540 g/ 3 cups basmati rice.
• 1/16 tsp ground saffron, dissolved in 1½ Tbsp hot water
• 35 g/ ½ cup/ 1 orange, washed, rind peeled thinly without pith, julienned
• 100 g/ ½ cup granulated sugar
• pinch salt
• 150 g/ 2 medium carrots, peeled, julienned
• 1½ Tbsp vegetable oil
• 100 g/ 1 small onion, diced small
• 60 g/ 6 Tbsp raisins (I used small golden), soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained
• 1 Tbsp unsalted butter -or- vegetable oil
• 4 Tbsp zereshk/barberries, soaked in water for 30 minutes and rinsed (dried cranberries may be used and skip the sugar)
• 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
• 20 g/ 2½ Tbsp pistachios, slivered
• 30 g/ 4 Tbsp almonds, peeled, unsalted, dry toasted, slivered
◊ Cook the Persian polo/rice. While the polo/rice is steaming, prepare garnish A, B and C.
◊ A: In a medium sized, non-stick saucepan, add julienned orange peels, cover with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Drain and repeat the process. Try a strip, and if it is still bitter, repeat the process one more time. Return orange peel to the saucepan. Add sugar, salt, and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Add carrots, stir and cook for 3 minutes or until cooked, but not soft. Drain and set aside.
◊ B: Rinse saucepan used for A with hot water, add oil and heat on medium. Add diced onion and caramelize. Add drained raisins and sautée for 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
◊ C: Rinse saucepan used for B with hot water. Place on medium heat. Add and heat butter (or vegetable oil), add drained zereshk/barberries and sugar, sautée for 1 minute after sugar is dissolved and set aside.
◊ When polo/rice is ready, scoop 2 cups cooked rice from the top into a medium sized heat-proof bowl. Dish out remaining rice into a serving platter and smooth the top. Add saffron water to the rice in the bowl and mix well.
◊ Using A, B, C, saffron rice, pistachios and almonds, decorate the top of the rice as desired and serve.
◊ Jeweled rice goes perfectly with roasted or kabab’ed chicken or meat of choice.
~ Noushe jan • نوش جان ~
When all ingredients are mixed with rice, either during steaming of rice or after plain rice is dished out, it can be called javaher/jeweled or shirin/sweet polo/rice.
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Persian Food Bloggers’ Naw-Rúz Recipe Round-up
Spring is almost here… Happy Naw-Rúz !
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