Morassa Polo/Jeweled Brown Rice


Morassa Polo or Jeweled Brown Rice…I can’t begin to tell you how delicious this rice is… worth every second… worth every ingredient.  Seriously one of the most flavorful dishes I’ve had in a long time.  I wasn’t super traditional here with the brown rice and to be honest it was a little gummy but still insanely delicious… I wasn’t sorry at all.  I followed the recipe instructions to make the brown rice but next time I might just make the rice according to package instructions and join in when it’s time to add all the other yummy ingredients.

Basically you’re sautéing onions, adding in dried fruit, spices and nuts and of course saffron (don’t skip the saffron! it gives the rice incredible color and flavor… also don’t use too much… it’s powerful).  Then you top it off with some pomegranate seeds for good measure.  You could probably prep the sautéd onions/fruit/nut mixture in advance and rewarm before adding the rice and saffron.  I’ll report back on that after more testing.  Which I will definitely be doing again and again because this was amazing…. I cannot throw enough superlatives at this dish.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups brown rice, soaked in cold water for 1 hour
  • 5 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • Sea Salt
  • 4 cups water, boiling
  • 2 tablespoons butter or unrefined coconut oil, at room temp
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 0.5 cup barberries, soaked in warm water for half hour and drained*
  • 1 cup minced dried apricots
  • 1 tablespoon dried rose petals**
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 0.5 cup pistachios, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 0.5 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground saffron
  • Pomegranate seeds for garnish (about 1/3 cup)

To Make:

  1. Drain the rice and rinse under cold water.  Heat a medium stockpot over low heat and add the 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, rice and pinch of salt.  Sauté for five minutes.
  2. Add the four cups boiling water and return to a boil.  Turn down the heat to very low and cook, covered, for 40 minutes, until cooked.  Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for ten minutes.  Then toss with the butter and fluff with a fork.***
  3. While the grains cook, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the remaining three tablespoons of grapeseed oil.  Sauté onion in oil for 15 minutes until lightly browned.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the saffron- grind the saffron with a mortar and pestle.  Transfer to a small bowl.  Add one tablespoon of hot water.
  5. Add barberries, apricots, rose petals, cumin, cinnamon and cardamom to the sautéed onions.  Cook for five minutes until heated through.
  6. Add half of the pistachios and almonds to the fruit and onion mixture.  Season with salt.
  7. In a large bowl, toss the fruit/nut mixture with the rice and drizzle in the saffron.  Season with salt.  Garnish with remaining nuts, rose petals, and pomegranate.

*You could substitute currants

**I couldn’t find these so I left them out

***You could also just cook the rice however you want and join in on step 3 when you add in all the other yummy flavors

 Inspired by TheNewPersianKitchen


4 thoughts on “Morassa Polo/Jeweled Brown Rice

  1. I find that brown rice is very hard to use for Persian polos, at least I’ve not been successful so far. Very sticky. How do you get it fluffy? Do you get rid of the water halfway through cooking? I would appreciate if you gave me the secret to that, because nowadays I eat brown rice rather than white, and I would like to use it for making polos. Kheily mamnoon.

    • I think soaking it in the cold water definitely helps but to be honest I agree with you it’s never the same as white rice- but with all these wonderful ingredients it’s still delicious!

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