Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
In a large pot filled with 10-12 cups water and 1 tbsp salt, stir in 2 cups pearl pishori rice, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 whole cloves, 3 black peppercorns, and ¼ tsp green cardamom seeds (from about 3 pods)
Cook uncovered stirring occasionally, until the rice is almost tender. Strain when there is a slight bite left in them. Drain and let stand in a sieve for 2 minutes for the water to drain out. Fluff with a fork.
Melt butter in a heavy bottom deep pan or a stock pot over medium heat.
Spoon off 3 tbsp of the butter and reserve. Add onions to the remaining butter. Stir till soft. Add potatoes. Sprinkle ½ tsp salt. Cook for 5-6 minutes without stirring much till almost soft. Reduce heat. Add 1.4 tsp saffron threads also.
Spread the potatoes in an even layer in the pot. Spoon the cooked rice over the onions. Add diced dried apricots and cherries or raisins. Smooth the top of the rice with back of a large spoon and press down very firmly to pack it. Drizzle the reserved butter evenly over the top. Cover with a well squeezed moist towel and place a well fitting heavy lid over it.
Keeping the heat low, cook the pot of rice with the potatoes for about 30 minutes to get a crisp of potatoes at the bottom. Let stand, covered for 10 minutes. Serve the rice topped with crispy golden potatoes and prinkle with ¼ cup chopped pistachios.