Shereen polo (almond, carrot, orange pilau)

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
½ teaspoon Sugar
½ teaspoon Whole saffron
¼ teaspoon Ground cardamom
2 tablespoons Oil
3 cups Carrots, julienned
½ cup Dried orange peel slivers
Water, boiling
½ cup Water
½ cup Almonds, blanched, slivered
2 tablespoons Rose water, or to taste
3 tablespoons Shelled pistachios
2 cups Raw rice, well rinsed
1 teaspoon Salt
4 cups Water, hot
5 tablespoons Oil
¼ teaspoon Ground turmeric
2 tablespoons Water

SUGAR SYRUP

RICE WITH TADIQ

1. Grind the ½ teaspoon of sugar and the whole saffron together, using a mortar and pestle, until they are quite fine. Add the cardamom and grind everything together smoothly. Set aside. 2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the carrots, and stir-fry over low heat for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently to brown them slightly. Set aside in the pan. 3. Cover the orange peel with boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside. 4. Put the 1 cup of sugar and the ½ cup of water in a pan and simmer over moderate heat for 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar. Add the almonds, cooked carrots, and orange peel and continue cooking for 2 minutes more. 5. Remove the melange from the heat and stir in the rose water, pistachios, and the saffron mixture. Set aside. 6. To prepare the rice, cover it with cold water and salt; let it soak for ½ hour. Pour off nearly all the lightly salted water, leaving about ½ cup. Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil over moderate heat, and add the rice and remaining liquid. Cook for 8 minutes, drain, and rinse under cold water. Drain and set aside briefly. 7.

Put 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large enough pan with the turmeric. Shake the pan briskly to mix. Pour in the rice to cover the oil and shape the top into a pyramid. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. 8.

Uncover and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of water over the rice. Cover the pan with a cloth kitchen towel and the pan cover. Cook over very low heat for ½ hour to allow the rice crisp (tadiq) to form. Some cooks let the tadiq form by cooking for 1 hour but the lesser time seems to work. Serve the rice on a platter, decorated around the top with pieces of tadiq, which must be scooped from the pan bottom. The warm sugar syrup melange is served separately. Each diner spreads as much melange as he or she wants over the rice. Serve warm with the chicken stew (Albaloo Polo)

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