Iran has a diverse and flavorful culinary tradition. One popular dish is “Persian Saffron Rice,” known as “Chelo Zaffran.” It is a fragrant and elegant rice dish often served with kebabs or stews. Here’s a concise recipe for Persian Saffron Rice:
- 2 cups long-grain basmati rice
- 3 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron threads (dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water)
- Salt to taste
- Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes, then drain.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to the boiling water, then add the drained rice. Cook the rice until it is parboiled, tender but still firm, for about 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the rice.
- Drain the parboiled rice in a colander and rinse it gently with cold water to cool it down.
- In a large non-stick pot, melt the butter or heat the vegetable oil over low heat.
- Add a layer of rice to the pot, then sprinkle some dissolved saffron over it. Continue layering the rice and saffron mixture until all the rice is used. Make sure the top layer is rice.
- Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it over low heat. Cook the rice for about 30 minutes, allowing it to steam and form a golden crust at the bottom (known as tahdig).
- Remove the pot from heat and let it sit, covered, for another 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Carefully transfer the saffron rice to a serving platter, ensuring to keep the tahdig intact.
- Serve the Persian Saffron Rice as a delightful side dish with kebabs, stews, or your favorite Persian recipes.
Enjoy the aromatic and golden Persian Saffron Rice!