(by Shabnam Curtis)
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)
2 T. plus 2 t. kosher salt 2 c. Basmati rice 1 t. saffron threads, finely ground 3 large eggs 1 c. plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek) 1/2 c. vegetable oil, plus more for dish
1 t. rose water (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 T. salt.
Place rice in a strainer and rinse with lukewarm water, swishing rice around with your hands to get rid of excess starch. Continue to rinse until water from rice runs clear. Add rice to pot and give it a few stirs to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until rice begins to rise to the top and is tender but still has a slight bite to it, 6 – 8 minutes.
Drain and rinse with cold water. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Combine saffron and 2 T. hot water in a large bowl.
Let sit 10 minutes to allow saffron to steep and draw out as much color as possible.
Mix in eggs, yogurt, oil, 2 t. salt, and optional rose water.
Mix in the rinsed rice with the mixture and gently stir. Spray a cupcake tray with oil and fill with rice mixture (each hole should be completely full but not overflowing).
Cover the tray tightly with foil and bake until rice on the bottom and around edges is a deep golden brown, 20 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes; discard foil.
Loosen the rice around the edges using the point of a knife.
Take each cup out and serve upside down to show the golden crunchy part.
(Read Through Compassionate Eyes, the story that accompanies this recipe.)