Mom’s Jeweled Rice

My mom is an amazing cook.
I know, so is yours. But let me explain.

It’s not just that she makes everything with love (duh). She worked in her parent’s Italian restaurant from the time she could work until it closed in the late 80’s. She learned from my grandma and aunties. She baked by herself. She hoarded recipes and cookbooks.


And when she remarried, her whole culinary world shifted – from the Mediterranean to the Middle East. Now it was time for eggplant, rosewater, saffron and rice. Plus, a whole lotta rice.


Not really knowing where to start, she picked up New Food of Life. Ever since, it’s been a staple in her home, helping her bake the best Nan-E Keshmeshy (Perisan Raisin Cookies), mix up the best Maast-o Khiar (Cucumber + Yogurt side) and this rice.

It’s the ultimately sweet and savory dish, if that’s your thing. Pistachios, barbaries, candied orange peels, nearly burnt ultra browned onions. And all that basmati rice.


We never really celebrated Ramadam at home – my dad had long since left his religious affinity when he left Iran in 1979. But there always seemed to be an air of spirit around that time. And boy did we eat well in the evenings.

To all of you celebrating, Ramamdam Kareem!
Audio Pairing: Arian Band by Parvaz

Mom's Persian Jeweled Rice

By DellaCucinaPovera Published: July 12, 2014

  • Yield: 3-4 Servings

My mom is an amazing cook. I know, so is yours. But let me explain. It's not just that she makes everything with love (duh). She …



  1. Scoop about 4 tbsps of rice into a separate container and coat with your saffron water.
  2. In a large pan, cook your rice according to package instructions.
  3. While your rice is boiling, brown your onions in butter in another pan. Then add your barberries. Set aside.
  4. Combine cooked plain rice, orange rinds and onion- barberry mixture. Top with pistachios and saffron rice. Serve immediately.

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      • says

        Thanks Mimi! Barberries are a little dried sweet/sour berry from Iran – think something between a cranberry and gojiberry. They’re delicious and known for their brilliant ruby color :)

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