Pistachio Rice with Dill and Rose Petals By Najmieh Batmanglij

4 servings.

2 cups white basmati rice
4 tablespoon vegetable oil, butter or ghee
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cardamom pods, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground saffron threads dissolved in 2 tablespoons rose water
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups warm broth or water
4 tablespoons oil or melted butter
1 cup raw pistachio kernels, parboiled, drained, and rinsed
2 1/2 cups chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon organic rose petals
½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)


Pick over the rice carefully to remove its many small solid particles of grit. Wash the rice by placing it in a large container and covering it with lukewarm water. Agitate gently with your hand, then pour off the water. Repeat five times until the rice is completely clean. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the onion slices and fry for 15 minutes until golden brown. Add the rice, cardamom, and saffron rose water, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the salt and warm stock, and bring to a boil; stir gently once. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover tightly and cook for 30 minutes.

3. Remove from heat, add the oil, and pistachio, and sprinkle the dill and rose petals over the top, and fluff with a fork. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!