Persian Rice with saffron
- 2 cups Mitsides Basmati rice
- a pinch of saffron threads
- a pinch of sugar
- 50g unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
- 2 Tbsp sunflower oil
- Pistachios and dried cranberries
- Salt and pepper
Soak the rice in cold water for 15 minutes. Rinse well and transfer to a pan with 4 cups of boiling water on high heat. Add plenty of salt, cover the pan with the lid and lower the heat. Let the rice cook for about 10 minutes. When ready, cover the pan with a towel and let the rice sit for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a very small bowl mix the saffron threads and sugar with 2 Tbsp boiling water. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
When the rice is ready, take a medium sized deep-frying pan (approx. 20cm diameter) with a lid) and melt half the butter with the sunflower oil. Add 1 Tbsp of the saffron liquid and a pinch of salt and mix. Add a layer of rice and with a wooden spoon press it firmly down to line the base of the pan with rice. Add the remaining rice on top, forming a pyramid shape. Using the same spoon make some openings in the rice and add the remaining butter pieces, the saffron and some salt. Cover the pan with a clean towel and then place the lid on top and make sure it is closed tighly. Tie the corners of the towel together so that they don't catch fire! Cook on medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and let it sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover the pan, take a large plate and place on top of the pan. Flip over so that you have the crunchy base of the rice on top. Decorate with pistachios and cranberries and serve!