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Active time
30 minutes
Total time
1 hour 30 minutes
8 Servings

2 cups basmati rice (preferably brown)

1 orange peel, cut into long, thin strips

1 teaspoon saffron threads

4 tablespoons sugar, divided

6 tablespoons orange blossom water, divided (can substitute rose water, or 3 tablespoons orange extract + 3 tablespoons water)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 cup carrots, cut into long, thin strips

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Salt, to taste

½ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup halved almonds, toasted

¼ cup raw pistachios

¼ cup golden raisins

  1. Soak the rice in cold water with salt for 1 hour, then drain. 
  2. Boil the orange peel for 2 minutes, then rinse in icy water and drain.
  3. Crush the saffron threads with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir in 3 tablespoons of orange blossom water and set aside. 
  4. Transfer 1 tablespoon of plain orange blossom water to a large skillet. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat, then add 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of oil, carrots and the orange peel. Sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the orange blossom mixture, remaining orange blossom water and sugar, then stir in 1 cup of water, cinnamon and cardamom. Let all of the ingredients simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid is syrupy. Drain the carrots and the orange peel and reserve the syrup.
  5. In a large pot, bring 7 cups of water to a boil. Add salt and rice, and cook for about 10 minutes or until it is soft on the outside but a little bit hard in the middle. Drain the rice, rinse it in cold water and place it in a bowl. Gently mix in the orange blossom syrup. Spoon some of the rice in the bottom of a large pot and spread it out to cover the bottom. Repeat this action, layering the rice gradually into a pyramid shape. Close the pot and cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel. Let it cook over low heat for 20 minutes. 
  6. To serve, top the rice with the carrots, orange peel, cranberries, almonds, pistachios, and raisins.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Al Wadi Al Akhdar


Calories: 290
Fat: 8g
Saturated Fat: 0.5g
Sodium: 160mg
Carbohydrate: 53g
Fiber: 4g
Protein: 6g

Yield: 8 Servings

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