Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants


Basmati Rice with Black Cardamom

Serves 4

A smoky dish that hails from Kashmir, this is known as a pulao.  Western culture would call it a pilaf.

1 Cup Basmati Rice
2 Tbsp. Ghee (Clarified Butter)
5 Black Cardamom Pods
2 Bay Leaves
1 Small Red Onion – Thinly sliced
1/4 Tsp. Saffron
1 Tsp. Sea Salt

Rinse the rice in cold water until the water is relatively clear. Drain the rice and then cover with fresh cold water and let sit at room temperature until the grains begin to soften, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat the ghee in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat.  Sprinkle in the cardamom pods and bay leaves.  Cook until they swell up and smell aromatic.  Immediately add the onion and cook, stirring until it is light brown, about 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the saffron.  Add the drained rice and toss gently with the onion and spice mixture.  Pour in 1 1/2 cups of cold water and add the salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover.  Cook until all water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for a full ten minutes.

Uncover the pan, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.  Be sure to not eat the cardamom pods or bay leaves as they can be rather bitter.

Persian Chicken Stuffed with Rice (Morgh-e tu por ba berenj)

Serves 4 – 6

1 Large chicken, about 5 to 6 pounds
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
2 Large onions ~ peeled and thinly sliced
3 Cloves Garlic ~ peeled and crushed
1/4 Cup butter or oil
1 Cup Rice ~ cleaned and washed
1 Tbsp. Persian Spice Blend (Advieh)
2 Tsp. Dried Rose petals
1/2 Tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
2 Cups Chicken stock
1/2 Cup Dried tart cherries
1/4 Cup Slivered almonds
1/4 Cup Raisins
1/4 Cup Fresh Lime juice
1/8 Tsp. Saffron Threads dissolved in 1 Tbsp. Hot water
1/4 Cup Butter ~ melted for basting
Lime slices for garnish

Clean and wash chicken.  Blend 1/2 Tsp of the Advieh with 1/8 cup of the butter.  Using your fingers work the spice/butter combination under the skin of the bird and into the flesh.  Brown onions and garlic in a skillet in the other 1/8 cup of the butter.  Add rice, Advieh, Rose petals, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add chicken stock; cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.  Add cherries, almonds, raisins, and lime juice.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Stuff the chicken with the rice mixture and pin or sew the cavity shut.  Place chicken in a greased oven-proof dish or roasting pan, paint with melted butter and cover.  Place pan in the oven and roast for 1 hour.  Remove chicken from the oven and paint it with a mixture of the saffron water and the remaining melted butter.  Cook uncovered for another hour, or until the meat separates easily from the bone.  Baste occasionally with the pan juices. Serve the chicken in the baking dish or on a serving platter.  Garnish with lime slices and accompany with bread, raw vegetables, fresh herbs, and salad.

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