Rice, or as we say in Farsi, polow is the main grain consumed in Persian cuisine. Persians have mastered the art of cooking rice and have taken it to a whole different level. Rice is soaked and masterfully steamed to create a light and fluffy texture.
The bottom of the pot is also cooked to a crispy perfection by adding oil, ghee, or butter, and a touch of saffron and served upside down to showcase the beautiful and enticing golden crust called Tahdig.
Polo ba Zaferoon
- 2 cups white basmati rice, soaked for 1 hour and rinsed
- 8 1/4 cups water, divided
- 2 tablespoons salt, for parboiling the rice and will be rinsed out.
- 5 tablespoons neutral oil divided
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, ground and mixed with 2 tablespoons hot water
- Wash the rice thoroughly and set aside to soak for at least one hour or up to 6 hours.
- In a large covered pot, bring 8 cups water and salt to a boil. Add the rinsed rice and boil on high heat uncovered for about 5-7 minutes, or until the rice has slightly softened.
- Drain the rice in a colander and set aside while you prepare the pan.
- Add 3 tablespoons of oil to a non-stick pot.
- In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of the lightly cooked rice with the saffron-water mixture, gently mix, and spread evenly in the bottom of the pot. This will be the crispy rice referred to as Tahdig.
- Pour the remainder of the rinsed rice to the pot and lightly fluff with a fork. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the top of the rice.
- Pour the additional 1/4 cup water evenly over the top of the rice. Wrap the lid with a clean towel and place on top of the pot.
- Allow the rice to steam over medium-low heat for 45 minutes.
- Cautiously and swiftly invert the rice out of the pot onto a large serving platter and serve immediately.