- 2 cups basmati rice
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1 large onion, small dice
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed and steeped in ¼ cup hot water
- Large pinch ground cinnamon
- Large pinch ground cardamom
- Large pinch ground black pepper
- Large pinch ground cumin
- 1/3 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup chopped and toasted pistachios
Rinse rice until water runs clear and then add to 3 quarts salted boiling water. Boil rice for 5 minutes, stirring, and then drain well.
In a skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter and sauté onion with a large pinch of salt for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add 1 tablespoon saffron water and all the spices, cook for another minute. Add fruit and stir for a minute, then remove from heat.
Over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a heavy-bottomed enamel nonstick Dutch oven and stir in yogurt. Spread half of the rice in the pot, then add the fruit mixture, then put the remaining rice on top. Cook uncovered for 5-8 minutes to brown the bottom layer of rice - watch for the steam to dissipate; that’s when the browning really starts. Add the rest of the saffron water and cover.
Turn heat to lowest setting and cook for 30 minutes. Turn heat off and rest 10-15 minutes. Spoon rice into wide bowl, making sure to get the bottom crust. Garnish with pistachios and enjoy.
Recipe copyright Chef Irene Li of the Cranberry Chef Collective.
Image copyright Matthew Kelly