Louisa Shafia's Sweet Rice with Carrots and Nuts

June 18, 2013

This week, Louisa Shafia will serve as a Guest Editor at Food52. She'll be choosing a Wildcard winner, answering your questions on the Hotline, and sharing recipes from her new book, The New Persian Kitchen -- because your kitchen deserves a taste of the exotic every once in a while.

The name of this orange- and cardamom-infused Persian rice dish is shirin polo, which means "sweet rice" in Farsi. It's traditionally paired with chicken, so it's a great side dish with roasted chicken or kebabs. Be sure to zest only the outer layer of the orange, because the white pith underneath will make the dish bitter. The mild flavor of unrefined coconut oil complements the sweetness of this rice, and makes for an interesting variation on the butter that is traditionally used. 

Sweet Rice with Carrots and Nuts

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Sweet Rice with Carrots and Nuts

Serves 6 to 8

2 cups white basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 1 hour
3 cups water
Sea salt
2 tablespoons butter or unrefined coconut oil, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cups grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)
1/2 cup slivered or coarsely chopped almonds, toasted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
Grated zest of 1 large orange
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon saffron, ground and steeped in 1 tablespoon hot water

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Sara Remington for The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia 

Want tips from Louisa on where to find Persian ingredients or how to achieve the perfect balance of sweet and sour? She'll be answering questions on our Hotline this Wednesday, June 19, from 1:00 - 2:00 PM EST. Mark your calendars, and join the conversation!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Andreas Düss
    Andreas Düss
  • healthierkitchen
My cookbook The New Persian Kitchen is a winner of Food52's Piglet award. I love cooking Iranian rice and hearing people crunch on the crispy tahdig from the bottom of the pot. I'm passionate about sharing the ingredients and techniques for making Persian food in my writing, cooking classes, and online store, Feast By Louisa where you can find my Persian Spice Set, Tahdig Kit, and other goodies.


Andreas D. June 19, 2013
Made this tonight, with a slight alteration - I used Mark Bitman's chicken and rice recipe as the base, turning this into something akin to a pilaf. Delicious.
healthierkitchen June 18, 2013
sounds delicious!