BASMATI RICE OIL SALT WATER OPTIONAL SAFFRON
STEP 1. Wash the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Fill the bowl with cold water and let the rice soak until the next two steps are done.
STEP 2. In the meantime, prepare your saffron. Grind it using a mortar and pestle, then steep it in 2 tablespoons of hot water, or put a few cubes of ice on it. Set aside.
STEP 3. Bring about ⅔ a pot water of water to boil. Add 3 tablespoons of salt.
STEP 4. Drain the water out of the bowl of rice, you can use a fine-mesh colander or sieve.
See the next slide for these four steps!
STEP 5. Add the rice to boiling water, and cook, like pasta, until al-dente, 5-10 minutes. Stir while it's cooking so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot (photo 5). STEP 6. Drain rice and gently rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Taste it for salt. If it's too salty, give it another good rinse with cold water (photo 6). STEP 7. Grab your non-stick pot or pan. If it's the same pot you used to parboil the rice, make sure it is clean. Heat it over medium, add 3 tablespoons of oil, half the steeped saffron, and stir to mix (photo 7). STEP 8. Top with drained rice, and form it into a pyramid. Using the back side of a kitchen utensil, make 6 deep holes in the rice, then put the lid on. Cook on medium heat, watching it carefully (photo 8).
STEP 9. When the lid gets foggy, for ~5 minutes, pour the rest of the oil, 3 tablespoons, around the edges and over the rice. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the top of the rice.
STEP 10. Cover with a lid wrapped in a kitchen towel and lower the heat to medium-low. Steam for 45-60 minutes until the tahdig is golden and crispy.
STEP 11. Remove the excess rice from the top of the pot (the part that is domed) and mix in the rest of the (optional) saffron water. You can use a fork to fluff it into a few spoonfuls first, then the rest. Set it aside.
STEP 12. Carefully and with oven mitts, flip the tahdig onto a serving dish.
I highly recommend checking out my full recipe for tips, tricks, pan recommendations, and all the know-how you need to make an awesome tahdig!