Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 25 mins
This recipe comes from the "Great Dinner Parties" cookbook by Barbara Myers. It's an Iranian dish that goes especially well with my recipe for Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Avgolmono Sauce. The rice is cooked in a way that produces a golden, crisp crust in the bottom of the pan while the top remains fluffy and white. I've been serving this at dinner parties since 1981 and it may be prepared in advance.
- 2 cups long-grain rice
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1⁄4 cup currants
- 2 -3 ounces toasted pine nuts, for garnish
- Measure rice and put in a heavy 4 quart saucepan.
- Wash rice, rubbing it through your fingers in several changes of water until the water is almost clear. (this rids the rice of excess starch and prevents crust from sticking to the pan when cooking.).
- Cover with water by at least 1 inch and add 2 tablespoons of the salt; stir.
- Let stand at least 2 hours; turn into a colander and drain water.
- Using the same saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil over high heat.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of salt, then sprinkle in the soaked rice, keeping the water at a boil.
- Stir once to keep from sticking to the bottom, then boil over medium heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
- Remove rice from heat and drain in a colander.
- Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in the same, dry, saucepan.
- Stir in the oil and yogurt.
- Spoon half the rice in lightly, then sprinkle on the currents, and top with the remaining rice.
- Dot with remaining 5 tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces.
- Put a double thickness of paper toweling on top of the pan, then a tight-fitting lid.
- Turn heat to medium and cook until you hear the rice sizzling, 5 to 8 minutes, to form the crust.
- Then turn heat to as low as possible, and let rice steam 1 hour. (a little shorter or longer time doesn't matter).
- Remove rice and set pan in cold water a few minutes. This will help loosen the crust which has formed on the bottom.
- Loosen edges around rice with a spatula.
- Put a serving platter over the top; invert rice onto platter.
- If cooked properly, the rice should unmold with the crust on top.
- (if not, no problem- just scrape out the crust as best as you can and place on top of rice. It will still be attractive!).
- To prepare in advance, complete all steps, but be certain to unmold immediately on an overproof platter. Reheat, loosely covered with foil, in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of water before reheating to keep rice from being too dry.