80g unsalted butter
1/2 cinnamon stick
5 whole green cardamom pods, cracked
3 whole black peppercorns
200g basmati rice, washed and soaked in salted water for 3 hours
2 tablespoons roughly chopped pistachio nuts (optional)
2 tablespoons barberries (optional, see Iranian Suppliers)
1 good pinch of saffron threads (about 100 threads), infulsed in 4 tablespoons boiling water.
200g home-made or Greek yoghurt, seasoned with 1 crushed garlic clove, salt and pepper
Caramelised Crispy Onions (see separate entry).
Here the rice is shown with Camaralised Onions and Greek Yoghurt (recipes that are also on this site).
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium to low heat. Add the cinnamon, cardamom pods and black peppercorns and gently fry the spices until their aromas start to be released, about 4 minutes. Drain the rice well, add it to the butter, and stir to coat for a minute. Turn up the heat to medium to high. If you are using pistachios and/or barberries stir them in now. Pour enough water over the rice to cover it roughly by 1cm, and season with salt. Rest some greaseproof paper on the surface of the water, then place a lid on the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Lift the lid and paper off the pan and drizzle the saffron water evenly over the rice. Replace the paper and lid. Turn down the heat to medium to low and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Serve with the seasoned yoghurt on the side and caramelised crispy onions on top.