Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is done. Remove from heat; fluff with fork. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, currants, and next 4 ingredients (currants through pepper). Cover; let stand 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.