pistachios & pomegranate rice


2 cups basmati rice
1½ cups of water + 2 tablespoons
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cups pistachios, shelled
1 cup raisins
1/8th teaspoon saffron powder
1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 cup pomegranate seeds

Place the rice in a large saucepan with the 1½ cups of water, 2 tablespoons oil, and salt. Bring to a boil, uncovered, and cook until you see holes forming on the surface that tunnel down into the rice, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover the saucepan. Cook for 20 minutes, then fluff and set aside.
In a small sauté pan, over medium-high heat, sauté the pistachios and the raisins in the remaining oil. Cook for a total of 4 minutes, mixing often. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of boiling water and the saffron. Let stand for 1 minute. Add ½ of the white rice to this bowl and coat it well with the saffron water. Let stand for 1 minute.
In a large bowl, mix the white rice, pistachio, raisins, orange zest, cilantro and the yellow rice.
Serve on a platter and garnish with the pomegranate seeds.