This Saffron Butter Crispy Rice recipe is based on a traditional Persian dish that is full of flavor and texture. The saffron brings that slightly sweet, floral note that's hard to replicate. Saffron also gives that beautiful yellow-orange hue to this rice. Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom that is irresistible. While it may seem like a complex, too-sophisticated-for-family-dinner dish, it really isn't! It's simple to make and perfect for a family dinner side!
To a small bowl with hot water, add a pinch of Saffron. Let this sit and bloom, so that the flavor of the water is infused with the saffron.
Rinse the rice by adding the dry rice to a small hole strainer and running cold water through it until the water runs clear.
Soak the rice in cold water in a large bowl for 30 minutes up to 1 hour. Then rinse the rice again in the strainer under cold water.
Prep your cooking lid for the pan by laying a clear dish towel on the counter and placing the pan lid with handle on top. Wrap the sides of the towel up and around and tuck into the handle so that the entire lid is wrapped and the towel is secured through the handle.
Pre-cook the rice by boiling 3 cups of water with the salt in a medium pot. Add the rinsed rice, bring back to a boil, and cook for 4 minutes. Drain the rice and rinse a final time under warm water.
Preheat the pan on medium-high heat. Add the butter to melt it, then add the bloomed saffron and water. Add the pre-cooked rice and pat down with the back of a spoon into a packed layer. Using the handle of a spatula or wood spoon, poke 6-8 holes into the rice so that steam can escape. Place your towel-wrapped pan lid on top of the pan. Make sure that the towel is secured through the handle and not hanging down where it could catch on fire. Let cook covered for 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Place a plate over the rice and using oven mitts or a towel to protect your hands, turn the Crispy Rice over onto the plate!
Optional: Garnish with fresh cilantro and peppadew peppers