Saffron chelow

Saffron chelow

By
From
New Middle Eastern Food
Photographer
Mark Roper

Saffron is often used as a garnish to liven up plain white chelow rice. The classic presentation is described below, but another method is to drizzle saffron liquid over the parboiled rice before steaming, to create a pretty marbled effect through the rice as it cooks. In Iran, saffron is nearly always used in powder form and steeped in water to create a saffron liquid. We prefer to buy top-quality saffron threads and grind them as needed. If you like, you can use 1/4 teaspoon saffron powder—mix it with the boiling water and proceed as below.

Saffron liquid

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
20 saffron threads
2 tablespoons boiling water
Persian chelow

Method

  1. Lightly toast the saffron in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for about 30 seconds. The threads must be totally dry, but be very careful not to burn them. As they crisp up, they will begin to release a wonderfully pungent aroma. Tip the saffron into a mortar and leave for a moment or two before grinding to a powder.
  2. Mix the ground saffron with the boiling water and set aside to infuse for at least 1 hour before using.
  3. The colour will continue to develop for about 12 hours. Prepare the rice as described for Persian chelow. Just before serving, remove 2–3 tablespoons cooked rice and mix with the saffron liquid in a small bowl. Set this saffron rice aside to use as garnish.
  4. Tip the remaining rice onto a serving platter. Sprinkle on the saffron rice and serve the tah-deeg separately.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Middle
Eastern
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