MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.01
       Title: Morassa' Polo (Bejeweled Pilaf)
  Categories: Pilaf, Main dish
       Yield: 6 servings
   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
       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 t  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.