This episode of Sara’s Table brings us back to the basics with a new recipe for a simple kitchen staple: Rice. Listen as Sara shares her recipe for Persian Rice, a dish that is sure to become a favorite around your house that also brings you back to basics and makes you remember what good food is supposed to taste like.
2 cups basmati rice
Cold water to cover rice by 2 inches or up to the second knuckle of your index finger.
4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided in half
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Several Saffron threads (optional)
Place rice in a medium saucepan; add 2 tsp. salt and cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain rice, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid.
If using Saffron, place saffron and 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid in a small bowl; let saffron soften for 5 minutes.
Add yogurt to drained rice in a medium bowl and stir in remaining 1 tsp. salt. If using saffron, add saffron water. Stir to coat.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; swirl to coat bottom and sides of pan. Add rice, mounding slightly in center. Poke 6–7 holes in rice with the end of a wooden spoon. Cover with foil, then a lid. Cook for 15 minutes (do not stir). Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for 20-25 minutes. Add more reserved cooking liquid by tablespoon if rice has not finished cooking. There should be a golden brown crust that forms on bottom of rice.
Remove lid and foil; Slide a fork or thin spatula along the sides of the skillet to make sure that the rise will release from the pan when inverted. Invert a plate over skillet. Using oven mitts, carefully invert rice onto plate; use a heatproof spatula to remove any crust remaining in skillet.
Thank you to Leah Mirakhor for sharing this recipe.