This dish is a magical replacement for roast potatoes. Serve on Christmas Day with roast turkey or goose or try with a Boxing Day honey roast ham.
For the rice, place the basmati rice in sieve then wash and drain.
Combine 525ml/19fl oz of water, the salt, oil or butter, cardamom, and lemon peel in a large pan with a lid and bring to the boil. Once boiling add the rice and stir with a fork. Wrap a clean tea towel around the lid of the pan and cover the rice. Lower the heat and cook until all the water has been absorbed into the rice.
While the rice is cooking, make the topping. Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the sliced onion until lightly golden-brown. Add the raisins, apricots and pistachios. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and fry until the nuts are just toasted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
When the rice is nice and fluffy and all the water has been absorbed (and the bottom begins to crisp) pour the saffron water over the rice. Cover again and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Spread the rice onto a large serving dish and top with the onion and raisin mixture. Sprinkle with chopped mint and edible gold and petals (if using).
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