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Persian Scorched Rice


  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tsp Kosher salt (separated)
  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee (preferred) or unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp Rose water (optional)
  • 1 tsp Saffron threads, finely ground
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup Plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek)
  • 1/2 cup Grape seed or vegetable oil, plus amount to grease dish
  • 1/2 cup Pistachio nuts (optional)


  1. . Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the 1/4 cup of kosher salt.
  2. . Meanwhile, place rice in a colander and rinse with lukewarm water, swishing the rice around with your hand to release excess starch. Continue to rinse until water runs clear.
  3. . Add rice to the pot and stir to prevent sticking.
  4. . Cook and stir occasionally until rice begins to rise to the top and al dente, about 8 -10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  5. . Melt ghee (or butter) in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.
  6. . Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries. Stir often until plumped slightly and warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  7. . Remove from heat and stir in rose water. (optional)
  8. . Place rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 400℉.
  9. . Combine saffron threads and 2 Tbsp hot water in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes to allow the saffron to steep and draw out as much color as possible.
  10. . Mix in egg yolks, yogurt, 1/2 cup oil, and 2 tsp kosher salt to the saffron water.
  11. . Scatter rice over yogurt mixture and gently toss to ensure every grain is coated.
  12. . Grease a 10" diameter glass pie dish with oil and add half of the rice mixture, gently pack rice into the dish. Of the remaining cranberries, scatter half of them on top and add the remaining rice. Press down again, this time more firmly.
  13. . Cover dish tightly with heavy duty foil and bake until rice on the bottom and around edges is a deep golden brown, about 65 - 80 minutes.
  14. . Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  15. . Loosen rice around edges using a knife. Place a large plate on top and invert rice onto a plate like a cake.
  16. . Decorate with remaining cranberries and pistachio nuts, if using.

Recipe developed  by Shamilla Yeary for The Cultured Cup

Copyright The Cultured Cup


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