(Dairy-free Version in Parenthesis)
You will need:
3 cups of Basmati rice
3 Tbsp Kosher salt
1.5 cups of mixed dried fruits (you can use dried cranberries, dried cherries, raisins, chopped apricots, chopped dates or chopped figs—just try to get the fruits roughly all the same size)
10 Tbsp. butter (or dairy-free margarine)
½ cup raw Pepitas or raw green Pumpkin Seeds
Combine the dried fruits in a bowl and mix with your hands. Wash the rice 6 or 7 times until the water is almost clear. Drain the washed rice in a strainer for at least 10 minutes after it has been washed. In a very large pot, bring 4 quarts of salted (this is where you use the Kosher salt) water to a boil and add in the rice. Boil for 5 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and drain the rice in a strainer. In another large pot with a heavy lid (I used my French casserole baker that can also be used on a stovetop), melt 8 Tbsp of the butter (or margarine) over medium heat with 2 Tbsp. of the Casablanca Blend or Pineapple Curry and the 1 tsp of the Garlic Pepper. Turn off the heat after the butter is melted and combined with the spices. Layer the rice and the fruit so that the first layer is rice and the last layer is rice. Cover the bottom of the pan’s heavy lid with a kitchen towel and cover the pan, folding the edge of the kitchen towel up on top of the lid so that the towel doesn’t catch fire (Always important, right?). Turn the heat on low and cook for 35 minutes. Remove from the burner and allow to stand undisturbed (leaving the kitchen towel under the lid) for another 30 minutes. Prior to serving melt the remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter (or margarine) with the 1 tsp of Casablanca Blend or Pineapple Curry and the Pepitas and slightly toast the Pepitas. Serve the Jeweled rice on a platter with the crusty rice from the bottom proudly displayed, garnish with the buttered, spiced pepitas.
From the kitchen of Kim Weiss, owner of Spirits & Spice
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