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Persian cranberry rice pilaf


A delicious side dish to any persian feast

15 mins

30 mins

354 kcals

serves 6



We had this gorgeous rice as a side dish to our alternative Christmas feast Friendsmas. I have always been hopeless at cooking rice for big groups of people- it nearly always gets all glutinous and stuck together! This is rinsed through very thoroughly and also soaked, and it was perfect! The cranberries were a little nod to Christmas and worked really well in this rice and alongside the other dishes Pulled Persian chicken  and Crushed carrots with harissa and pistachio.

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Persian cranberry rice pilaf

  • Author: Pip Payne
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


A delicious side dish to any Persian feast!

Syns: 3.5 per portion


  • 450 g basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp saffron (soaked in boiling water for 10 mins)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50 g dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Rinse the rice really thoroughly under the cold tap, turning over with your hand to get to as much as possible
  2. Place the rice in a large bowl of cold water and soak for 30 minutes
  3. Heat the butter over a medium heat, add the onions, and fry for about 5 minutes until they are translucent and starting to brown a little
  4. Add turmeric, sumac, cranberries and salt to the onion, stir fry for 1 minute and then add in about 2 tbsp water and stir fry until the water has soaking into the cranberries. Remove from heat.
  5. Fill a large pan with water, and bring to the boil. Drain the rice, add it to the boiling water, and simmer it for 8 minutes.
  6. Drain the rice, and rinse it under cold water.
  7. Add the olive oil into the large pan, add the rice back in, and pout the saffron water over it evenly. Top with the cranberry mixture.
  8. wrap the lid of the pot with a tea towel, and pop it on top of the pot.
  9. Cook the rice on a high heat for 3 minutes, then turn the heat down very low and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the heat, and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes

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