Cook’s Notes: If you have a little extra time, soak the rice in cold water
for 30 minutes before you start cooking. This kick-starts the water absorption
process so that when you cook the rice you end up with fluffy separate grains
that are perfectly cooked and don’t stick together.
Equipment: Sauté pan with lid
250g (9oz) basmati rice
2 tbsp olive oil
30g (1oz) unsalted butter
2 small onions, finely chopped
1 tsp ras el hanout
4 carrots, peeled and grated
pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 3 tbsp hot water
200g (7oz) mixed dried fruit such as sultanas, dried barberries or cranberries
75g (2½oz) shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
handful of chopped mint leaves
handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. If you have soaked the rice, drain and give it a final rinse; if not,
rinse well in a colander under the cold tap.
2. Heat the oil and butter in a sauté pan, add the onions and ras el hanout
and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes until softened. Add the drained rice, carrots
and saffron (with its soaking water), then cover with 300ml (1¼ cups) cold
3. Season with salt and pepper, stir and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce
the heat and simmer gently for 12–15 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave
to stand with the lid on for 5 minutes.
4. Fluff up the rice with a fork, stir in the dried fruit, pistachios and
herbs and serve.