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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.