Sour Cherry Rice

READY IN: 2hrs 45mins


  • 4
    tablespoons salt
  • 1
    large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 12
    lb butter (2 sticks)
  • 34
    teaspoon saffron, crushed finely into powder with pestle
  • 3
    cups sour cherry preserves
  • 1
    slice pita bread


  • Fill large pot with water; add 2 tablespoons salt and soak rice for two hours; drain.
  • In large nonstick pot, add 9 cups water, 2 tablespoons salt and pre-soaked rice; bring to boil stirring gently occasionally to prevent rice from sticking; cook until al dente; Drain.
  • Rinse rice with cold water, then shake colander to remove excess water; set aside.
  • In skillet, fry onion in 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter until golden; lower flame.
  • Add saffron and sour cherries to onions; simmer for 15 minutes, being careful not to burn.
  • Cover bottom of nonstick pot with olive oil.
  • Separate one piece of pita bread and place it on the bottom of pot.
  • Spoon thick layer of rice over pita bread; spoon layer of sour cherry preserves over rice, then alternate layers, forming a mound.
  • Poke holes in rice mixture with handle of spatula to allow steam to rise.
  • Mix until rice takes on color of preserves.
  • Melt remaining 11/2 sticks of butter (6 ounces); pour evenly over rice. (If juice from cherries gathers around edges of pot, skim off excess so tadiq at bottom won't be mushy.).
  • Cover with clean towel and put lid on.
  • Place pot on medium heat.
  • When you hear sizzling at the bottom (after about 5 minutes), bring down heat to low. Cook covered for 45 minutes to an hour.