Modern persian cuisine case 6: Persian saffron and golden raisen baked rice
This post also could have been titled as readers request case3 as a British lady asked me once for a recipe for this Iranian food.
A very famous dish from the Persian Cuisine is 'Kishmish polo'. It is a pilaf consisting of prawns, golden raisens caramelized onions. In traditional version, the rice is semi-cooked and then drained. Layers of the mentioned ingredients are added and the rice is cooked(steamed actually) in pot. Here I baked my rice in the oven and I served my prawns with a pea puree. The key is to give the prawns some spiciness and acidity to balance it with the buttery goodness and sweetness from the rice. Here are the ingredients:
3 TBSP butter
2 TBSP Almond flakes
3 TBSP Raisen
1 TSP salt
1/4 TSP pepper
1 TSP rich saffron solution
2 cup chicken stock
1 cup Basmati rice
Best served with: pan seared prawns(in butter red chilli powder finished with fresh lime juice)
Also could be served with: Fish or meatballs
I served this dish on sweet English pea puree.
*The zebra in the picture is not part of the ingredients and the word "extra long" does not refer to the zebra.
Preheat the oven on 200 C. In a pan, melt the butter and add the flakes.
Brown the flakes. Make sure the flakes are not burned.
Add the raisens. And season with salt and pepper.
Add the hot stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off.
Add saffron and the rice.
The best vessel to bake in is clay pot. But ceramic and Pyrex will also do the job. The rice will be twice as expanded as the dry size so make sure the vessel can handle the excess. Also, the vessel should not be very large so the steam power is not wasted.
Cover with an aluminum foil and seal it tightly so the steam can not scape. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from the oven, uncover, stir it well(Due to low specific weights, raisens and almond flakes will float on surface when water is existing ), cover again and cook for another 15 minutes.
I like this rice dish and it indeed is one of my comfort foods. I'd like to have it with Greek yogurt as it is veggie and healthy yet delicious and well balanced in terms of flavors and textures.