By Chef Mojdeh Eghbal
Gheymeh-nessar (Persian jeweled rice with lamb)
– 4 cloves of garlic, minced
– 4 cups of diced onions
– 4 teaspoons of ground turmeric
– Salt and pepper, as needed
– 5 cups of Basmati rice
– 1/2 cup of oil
– 3 lbs. of lamb, diced in 1 inch cubes
– 1/2 teaspoon of saffron, dissolved in 6 tablespoons of hot water
– 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom
– 1 cup of almond slivers, soaked in 1/4 cup of rose water for 30 minutes
– 1/2 cup of pistachio slivers, soaked in 1/4 cup of rose water for 30 minutes
– 2 cups of barberries, washed and then soaked in water for 10 minutes
– 1/4 cup of rose water
– 1/2 cup of butter
– 1 cup of orange peel slivers
– 2 tablespoons of sugar
On medium heat, saute 3 cups of onion and 1 teaspoon of turmeric. Stir and fry until golden brown. Set aside.
Saute the garlic and 1 cup of onion on medium heat until they are light brown, after 5 minutes add the lamb chunks and turn up the heat. Add 3 teaspoons of turmeric and pepper. Stir and fry for 5 minutes until the lamb chunks become brown. Add enough boiling water to cover the meat by 2 inches. Turn down the heat and let the lamb cook for 3 hours. When the meat is cooked add the salt, 4 tablespoons of saffron, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, 1 tablespoon of rose water, and the fried onion made earlier. Stir and mix well and let them sit together for 5 minutes on low heat.
Wash the rice 3 times, after the third wash drain as much water as possible. Then add 7 and 1/2 cups of water, 1/8 cup of butter, 1/4 cup of oil and salt. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Cook the rice covered, until the water has completely evaporated. Reduce the heat, then cover the pot with a kitchen paper towel and put the lid back on. The rice is cooked and ready in 30 minutes.
To help remove the bitterness of the orange peel sliver, bring it to a boil and then drain the water as much as possible and repeat the above 3 times. Then add 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoons of saffron. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.
Saute the soaked almond slivers in oil for a couple of minutes, to make the slivers shiny.
Drain the water from the barberries. Place them in a pan, add 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoons of saffron. Saute for a couple of minutes. Keep an eye on them, barberries burn quickly!
How to serve
Put the rice and the meat in a platter in layers, and garnish it with the barberries, the orange peel, almond and pistachio slivers.