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.
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
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!
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.