Saffron Steamed Basmati Rice (Persian Polow)

READY IN: 30mins
Recipe by COOKGIRl

Use only basmati rice, please. From our local newspaper.

Top Review by UmmBinat

I used unsalted butter to be more decadent than plain old oil. Depending on the Basmati rice variety some can't withstand such long soaking such as the Indian Basmati rice I used but I do have experience using a wonderful rice from a Persian shop before and I know it benefits with the long soaking time it is completely my recommendation to use the real Persian kind as it is better!! I used sea salt & Iranian saffron which is also higher quality than Spanish saffron. I did adjust the cooking time for my poorer quality rice but it turned out as it should, with a crust. Made for Veggie Swap 31 ~ February 2011.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Dissolve the saffron threads in 4 tablespoons hot water and set aside to soak.
  2. Wash the basmati rice twice and soak in salted warm water for 2-3 hours.
  3. Drain the water.
  4. Pour enough water into a large pan until pan is half-full. Bring to the boil.
  5. Add the drained rice and 1 tablespoon salt. Continue boiling until rice is slightly softened, about 10 minutes.
  6. Drain rice and wash it slightly with warm water.
  7. Pour 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil into the pan and add the rice.
  8. Mix the remaining grapeseed oil with the saffron water and pour *half* this mixture over the rice.
  9. Cover pan and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. A golden crust (tadiq) will form on the bottom.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining saffron water and oil mixture over the rice.
  11. Reduce heat to low and cover the top of the pan with two layers of paper towels ( I used a double layer of muslin cloth).
  12. Cover pan firmly with the cover and cook 45 minutes WITHOUT removing lid.
  13. Remove pot from heat and let rest 5 minutes.
  14. Turn the rice out on a large serving platter with the golden crust on top.

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