Polow - Persian Rice
2 1/2 cups long grain white basmati rice
1/2 teaspoon powdered/crushed saffron dissolved in 3 tablespoons of hot water
Butter or vegetable oil
- In a large bowl wash the rice with cool water a few times to get rid of the extra starch and pour the water out. Soak the rice in 8 cups of cool water, add 2-3 tablespoons of salt and set aside for at least a couple of hours.
- In a large non-stick pot, bring 8 cups of water to a rapid boil on medium-high heat.
- Drain the washed and soaked rice and pour into the boiling water. Bring the water back to a boil on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until the grain are long, soft on the outside and hard in the center. Drain the rice in a sieve and rinse it well under cool running water.
- Wash the rice pot with water and return to heat. Add 3 tablespoons of oil or butter to the bottom of the pot and 1 tablespoon of saffron-water mixture. With a large spatula return the parboiled rice into the pot, building it into a pyramid shape away from the sides of the pot. In order to release the steam make 4-5 holes in the rice with the bottom of the spatula.
- Cook the rice for 7-10 minutes or until rice is steaming. When the steam starts to come out, pour 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/4 cup of water over the rice, cover, lower the heat and steam the rice on low heat for another 50 minutes.
- To serve when the rice is fully cooked use a large scoop and take some rice from the top and mix it with the remaining saffron in a bowl. Set aside.