Iranian Rice

Method

1

Place the rice, 1 teaspoon sea salt and the water in a large pan and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Drain well.

2

Transfer a third of the rice to a bowl and mix in the yoghurt, saffron and the half teaspoon salt. Mix until evenly coloured by the saffron.

3

Toast the almonds in a dry pan until dark golden and stir into the plain rice, reserving some for garnish.

4

Heat the oil in the same pan and add the sliced onions. Cook gently until dark golden and sticky. Add the garlic for the last couple of minutes to cook until fragrant. Mix these into the plain rice also.

5

In the same pan, melt the butter and add the saffron rice. Using the back of a spoon, press down to lightly compact it and create a layer covering the base and sides of the pan. Tip the almond rice on top of the crust without compacting it and cover with a tight lid. Cook on a medium-low heat for 20 minutes.

6

When ready to serve, loosen the edges of the crust with a knife and place a board or serving plate, upside down, over the pan. Flip the pan and the board to turn out the crusted rice.

7

Decorate with some extra saffron threads, toasted almonds and rose petals, if you like. Serve immediately.

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