Meals and Courses

Crunchy Rice Persian-Style

prep 15 mins + 3 hours soaking time cook 45 mins
  • 500 g (1 lb) basmati rice
  • 60 g (2½ oz) butter
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • salt

Wash the rice under running water several times then leave it to steep in a bowl of water for 3 hours.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the drained rice in a stream. Cook for 5 minutes, or until tender on the outside and still firm inside; drain.

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and add the rice. Stir well then cover the pan tightly. Cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes. Lower the heat and continue cooking over a very, very low heat for a further 20 minutes.

Dissolve a pinch of saffron threads in 2 tablespoons of hot water. Take a bowlful of rice from the pan and sprinkle it with the saffron-flavoured water.

Place the remaining rice in a large serving dish and top it with a little dome of the saffron rice.

Scrape up the rice crusted around the bottom of the pan, and serve it separately on a small plate.

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