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.