Jewelled rice

This gorgeous rice dish pairs with meat and vegetarian mains for a crowd-pleasing Christmas meal.
jewelled rice



1.Place saffron in a small heatproof bowl; cover with the boiling water.
2.Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold water until water runs clear; drain well.
3.Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook the almonds for about 3 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
4.Add onion to the oil in pan; cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the spices; cook for a further 5 minutes or until onion is golden. Transfer half the onion to a small bowl; add almonds and currants to bowl.
5.Add drained rice to onion in pan; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add extra water, saffron mixture, 1½ teaspoons sea salt flakes and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low; cook, covered, for about 18 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
6.Fluff the rice with a fork; stir in the almond mixture and cranberries; season to taste. Serve scattered with pistachios and herbs.

Not suitable to freeze or microwave.