Ribbon Rice

Recipe contributed by: Tashan Mistree Byramji

R for Ribbon Rice Parsi Style

R for Ribbon Rice by Tashan Mistree Byramji

This recipe is my all time favorite, fuss free but fancy enough to impress all dish!

It was shared by my Mother in Law, Lyla Byramji, who’s very own Mum, Bapsy Mehta, showcased her culinary brilliance with this dish at the Women’s International Club of Karachi in 1955. A favorite in the Mistree-Byramji house, this dish is the perfect mix of the Indo-Pak blend that is our family, with the saffron orange layer of jinga (kolmi) nu patio representing India and the glistening layer of green chutney for Pakistan.

With each bite we transcend the very borders that keep us apart. Rice in Zoroastrianism is used in all celebrations to shower blessings of happiness and represents an abundance of good wishes and fortune. Eating Ribbon Rice is one such celebration – with every bite blissful happiness, with every layer, abundance of color, and the more times you serve this dish, the more you will be asked!

Parsi Style Ribbon Rice_Baking

Bawi Bride’s Note:

Just like Dhansak, every household has a slightly different recipe for Ribbon Rice. I actually make mine super indulgent by using not only prawns but also kheema. In fact, I even rechristened it the Surf & Turf Pulao. What I do, is make the red layer of ribbon rice using Kheema and then cook the prawns in a green chutney to form the green ribbon. When cooking the kheema, try to make it a bit thicker and spicier than the recipe above, subtracting the potatoes. For the chutney, you can either make the version below or even use whatever leftover chutney you have. Depending on what you like to cook, you can try either version. The recipe for Tashan’s version is as below.

Ribbon Rice

Ribbon Rice_300x225

  • Prep Time: 1h
  • Cook Time: 1h
  • Total Time: 2h


Green Chutney

  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (or 1 full fresh coconut shredded)
  • 1 big bunch coriander
  • 6 green chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon jeera
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Red Chutney-Prawn

  • Handful dry red chillies
  • 2 teaspoons Dhana-Jeera powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 kilograms prawns
  • 250 grams tomatoes
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 onions or 1 cup pre-fried onions
  • 4 tablespoons ghee
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar


  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 2 tablespoons milk


Green Chutney Layer

  1. Blend together all the ingredients for the green chutney using only as much water as needed.
  2. Ideally, blend together the coconut and coriander first before adding the other ingredients to get a nice smooth paste.

Red Prawn Layer

  1. Make a smooth paste out of the garlic, red chillies, tomatoes and the spices.
  2. In a pan, heat the ghee and fry the onions until golden brown.
  3. Add in the spice paste and saute until everything is mixed well.
  4. Add in the prawns into this mixture along with a little water and allow them to cook for 5 - 7 minutes until tender.
  5. Add in the slit green chilies and the vinegar. Simmer for another 3 - 5 minutes and then set aside.


  1. Wash and soak the rice in some water for about 15 - 20 minutes.
  2. Heat a saucepan of boiling water and salt.
  3. Once the water has come to a rolling boil, add in the rice and allow them to cook for 10 - 15 minutes until they are tender. Strain out the water and set aside.
  4. Dry roast the saffron in a smaller pan. Mix it in with the milk and set aside.
  5. In another container, take about half the rice and mix it with the saffron to get a nice yellow colour.


  1. Grease a mould that you would like to use like a bundt pan or a deep round glass bowl with some oil.
  2. Add in the saffron rice first. Then add the green chutney layer.
  3. Next add in some white rice. Follow that up with the red prawn layer
  4. Finish off with the white rice. Press each layer slightly but not firmly.
  5. Take a large platter and tip the mould into the platter so that the layer of saffron rice now comes on the top.
  6. Serve hot with raita.

Optional - Bawi Bride Method

  1. If you're making this recipe using Bawi Bride's method then heat up the green chutney in a pan and add in your prawns here. Cover and cook in very little water until the prawns are tender.
  2. In the red chutney, add in the mutton mince instead of the prawns and skip out the vinegar.
  3. You can also garnish this rice with fried dry fruits like cashews and raisins as well as fried onion and finely chopped coriander.

This post is part of my ongoing series on the blog, the A to Z of Parsi Food which has been curated in collaboration with Parsi food enthusiasts globally. For more interesting recipes follow the hashtag #AtoZChallenge mentioned below.

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