Preparing barberries for rice topping

Barberries traditionally accompany rice in Iran and in other parts of the Middle East and Central Asia. They are a great source of vitamin C, and, best yet, of colour!

They are called zereshk (زرشک) in Farsi, and simply barberries (pron. berberis – الباربِريْس) in Arabic.

Barberries are also filled with pectin and can be used as a natural additive when making marmalade.

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For a small handful of barberries
1- Clean and wash them with running water (use a sieve it makes it easier), then let them soak for about five minutes in water at room temperature.
2- In a small pan, place a little bit of butter add the barberries and half a teaspoon of brown sugar. Let it simmer mixing gently and you will see the barberries puff up!

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3- Add one tablespoon of saffron liquid (recipe here) and leave on low fire until the barberries have absorbed all the liquid. It should take two to three minutes.

To serve, just sprinkle on rice!

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