Buttered saffron rice

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 teaspoons Saffron;leaf saffron
2 tablespoons Milk; warm Salt
2 cups Rice, basmati
4 tablespoons Butter

"The darker (the redder) the saffron colour, the better the quality.

It usually comes from Spain, but the best, really expensive stuff, is grown in Kashmir, where I went to see it growing. There are many different grades. Watch out for fake or dyed saffron. Buy it from a reputable source. To use it in a recipe, I roast it in a cast-iron pan until it's crisp to draw out the colour, then crumble it lukewarm milk and let it sit for three to four hours." Place saffron in small, dry, hot pan over medium heat about 1 minute or just until fragrant. Crumble into milk.

Fill large pot with about 13 cups water; add salt and bring to boil.

Meanwhile, place rice in medium bowl and cover with cold water.

Immediately drain rice through colander. Wash and drain two more times.

When water is boils, add rice and stir once; bring to boil. Cook 5 minutes; rice should be slightly hard in the centre.

Drain in colander and place in ovenproof dish. Drizzle saffron milk over rice, tossing over a couple of times very gently. Divide butter into four pieces; place over rice.

Cut pieces of aluminium foil 2 inches larger than rim of dish; place on top of dish; place lid on foil. Bake in preheated 300F oven 40 to 50 minutes, checking after 40 minutes to see if rice is cooked.

Serve saffron-coloured streaked rice spooned on warmed platter.

SERVES:6

SOURCE: MAdhur Jaffray, published in Toronto Star

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