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Jewelled Persian Rice | Desi~licious Ethnic Recipe

4.5 from 2 votes
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Persian rice infused with the luxurious scent of saffron and cardamom - jewelled with crunchy carrot matchsticks, tart dried cranberries and protein-rich chickpeas to create a desilicous show-stopping rice dish for your holiday menu. Yes, it's as good as it looks.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course, Side
Servings: 6 people
Persian rice in a round tray surrounded by fresh parsley, grilled eggplant and a traditional fabric


  • 1 cup dried cranberries no added sugar, soaked for at least one hour
  • 3 cups water boiling water
  • 1.5 cup basmati rice washed thoroughly. No need to soak.
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cardamom seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 red onion large, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp saffron
  • 1 tbsp almond milk any other plant-based milk will work as well
  • 2 cups chickpeas canned, unsalted, drained
  • 2 cups carrots matchsticks. You can purchase these "already cut" to save time
  • 2 tsp salt sea salt


  • Begin by boiling the rice. In a medium pot, bring water to boil and add the rice. Parboil for 8 mins on medium heat.
  • In a separate large non-stick cooking pot, add 2 tbsp of oil and fry the cumin, crushed cardamom seeds and onion on medium heat until lightly golden.
  • In a small microwave-safe ramekin, add milk and saffron and warm for 20 seconds and set aside.
  • Add chickpeas, carrots and drained cranberries to the spices. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add salt and stir gently.
  • Once the rice is cooked, drain and wash under cold water to prevent further cooking.
  • Now it's time to create layers of rice with the veggie-fruit-spice mixture. Start by removing the entire mixture from the cooking pot into a large container.
  • In the empty pot, heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium heat. Add 3 cups of rice followed by 2 cups of the veggie-fruit-spice mixture. Continue with 2 cups of rice and finish with the remaining veggie-fruit-spice mixture (save a bit for garnishing). Finish the layers by topping with the remaining rice.
  • Now pour - bit by bit - the saffron milk over the rice. 
  • Turn the heat to low, cover and cook for about 7-10 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
  • Garnish with the leftover veggie-fruit mixture, serve and enjoy!


  1. Make sure that when you drain the rice, you also rinse it under cold water to prevent further cooking.
  2. Don't forget to soak the cranberries for at least an hour, so they're nice and soft and release their flavour.
  3. Opt for cardamom seeds and crush them versus using ready-made cardamom powder. The infusion of flavour is like nothing else!
  4. Be mindful not to overcook the veggie-fruit mixture. Otherwise, the carrots will become soggy and lose their bright orange colour. Plus, that slightly crunchy texture of carrots marries beautifully with the rest of the ingredients in the dish.
  5. Don't forget to place the lid on the layered rice and cook on low heat. You want the rice to cook through and not burn.
  6. When you're ready, gently serve the rice on a platter and garnish.
Nutrition Facts
Jewelled Persian Rice | Desi~licious Ethnic Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 410 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 822mg34%
Potassium 394mg11%
Carbohydrates 75g25%
Fiber 8g32%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 7149IU143%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 75mg8%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Please note the nutritional analysis values are estimates and suggestions. This nutrition facts table does not know your life - your body, including your hunger and satiety cues, change daily. It's okay to eat more or less. Say no to food guilt and instead embrace mindful eating.