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Adapted from a recipe by Kimber at allrecipes.com. You really have to use basmati rice to get the best flavor; plain long-grain rice will likely be bland. Substitute oil for the butter to make it vegan.
- Rinse rice in 2-4 changes of cold water, until it runs clear. Set aside.
- Soak saffron threads in 2 tablespoons boiling water.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; add cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and fry 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Add rice, reduce heat to low and saute 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until rice is opaque, is beginning to smell nutty and is just beginning to turn a little golden.
- Add bay leaves and raisins to pot. Pour in the boiling broth and stir in the salt and saffron.
- Cover tightly and simmer 20-25 minutes. or until rice is cooked and all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, then turn out into a serving dish. Remove and discard cardamom pods, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks. Sprinkle with slivered almonds.