• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 6 Servings

Morassa' Polo (Bejeweled Pilaf)

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Main Dish

 Ingredients List

  • 2 3/4 c Basmati rice, rinsed in 5 or
  • -6 changes of water
  • 1/4 c Salt
  • 2 lb Carrots, peeled and cut in
  • -julienne
  • 6 tb Oil
  • Liquid Saffron
  • 2 tb Slivered almonds
  • 2 tb Slivered pistachios
  • Peel of 3 oranges, julienned
  • 2 tb Currants
  • 1/4 c Dried barberries (zereshk)
  • ds Ground cinnamon
  • ds Ground cardamom
  • 1 ts Rose water
  • 1/4 c Butter
  • 4 ts Crushed crystallized sugar
  • -or rock candy (opt)


"The Legendary Cuisine of Persia" by Margaret Shields, would accompany
roast lamb or chicken or occupy center stage at a Near Eastern

Cover rinsed rice with water by at least 1". Add 1 tablespoon salt.
Soak 3 hours.

In skillet, fry carrot strips in 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat,
stirring constantly, 10 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon granulated sugar,
2 teaspoon Liquid Saffron and 2-3 tablespoons water. Cook until
liquid is reduced, 4-5 minutes. Remove carrot strips to bowl and set

In skillet, toast 1 teaspoon almonds over medium heat. Set aside for
garnish. Put remaining almonds and all pistachios in small saucepan,
cover with cold water, bring to boil and drain. Set aside. Combine 1
teaspoon blanched almonds, 1 teaspoon blanched pistachios and
reserved toasted almonds for garnish.

Put remaining granulated sugar in small saucepan with 6 tablespoons
water. Bring slowly to boil and simmer gently 10 minutes. Add orange
peel and remaining blanched nuts and boil 30 seconds. Drain,
reserving syrup. Add peel and nuts to fried carrot strips.

Soak currants in warm water 10 minutes until puffed and shining.
Drain. Separate 1 teaspoon currants for garnish and add remainder to
carrot strip mixture. Pick over barberries, then gently fry in
skillet in small amount of oil until glowing red color, 1-2 minutes.
Separate 1 teaspoon barberries for garnish and add remainder to
carrot strip mixture. Stir cinnamon, cardamom and rose water into
carrot strip mixture and divide mixture into 3 parts.

In 3 quart saucepan add 2 quarts water and 3 tablespoons salt and
bring to rapid boil. Drain soaked rice. Add to saucepan, bring back
to boil and boil until grains are soft on outside but still firm in
center, 2-3 minutes. Drain in colander and rinse with lukewarm water.
Toss gently in colander.

Rinse saucepan, return to heat, add some oil and heat until sizzling.
Sprinkle 1/4 of rice over bottom of saucepan. Spread 1/2 of carrot
mixture on rice. Sprinkle 1/4 of rice over carrot mixture. Repeat
with remaining carrot mixture and rice, ending with thick layer of
rice formed into conical mound. Pour remaining syrup and 4 teaspoons
Liquid Saffron over rice. Make 2-3 holes through rice to bottom of
saucepan with handle of wooden spoon. Spread clean dishcloth over
edges of saucepan and set cover firmly over dishcloth.

Keep heat on high until rice is steaming, 2-3 minutes, then reduce
heat to low and cook at least 30 minutes. Rice can be kept on very
lowest heat as long as 1 1/2 hours total.

Remove saucepan from heat and set on cold, wet surface 1-2 minutes.
(This helps loosen bottom crust.)

Meanwhile, melt butter. Remove 2-3 tablespoons rice and mix with
remaining 2 tablespoons Liquid Saffron in small bowl and set aside.

Gently toss and mix pilaf, leaving crust in pot, and sprinkle on
warmed dish in symmetrical mound. Sprinkle with saffron rice. Garnish
with reserved almonds (both toasted and blanched), pistachios,
currants and barberries.

Crush crystallized sugar into small "diamonds," mix with 1/2 teaspoon
boiling water and sprinkle over rice. Pour melted butter all over.
Remove bottom crust (tah dig) from pot and serve on separate plate.
Makes 4-6 servings.

Each of 4 servings contains about: 967 calories; 1,658 milligrams
sodium; 31 milligrams cholesterol; 38 grams fat; 149 grams
carbohydrates; 13 grams protein; 3.15 grams fiber.

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