Saffron, date, and almond rice

From LA Times

Photo by Hion L.
Adapted from latimes.com

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

60

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

60

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Adapted from latimes.com

Ingredients

  • 3

    cups basmati rice

  • 4

    tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1/2

    cup butter, divided

  • 3/4

    cup roughly chopped, skin-on almonds

  • 5

    medjool dates, roughly chopped (about 1/3 cup)

  • 1/2

    teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/4

    teaspoon saffron threads soaked in 2 tablespoons hot water

Directions

1. Rinse the rice well under running cold water, then put the rice in a large bowl, cover it with lukewarm water and stir in 2 tablespoons of salt. Soak for 1 to 2 hours, then drain and rinse again. 2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add 2 more tablespoons of salt, then add the rice and boil gently for 3 to 4 minutes, until almost cooked. Check by trying a grain: It should still have a bit of bite to it. Drain, rinse and set aside to completely drain. 3. In the same pan, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter and sauté the almonds until slightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped dates, cook for a couple of minutes more, then stir in one-half teaspoon of white pepper, one-half teaspoon salt and half the rice. 4. Gently flatten this down, tapping the pan on the stove to flatten the rice, then spoon the remaining rice on top, forming a cone. 5. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and pour over the top, along with 3 tablespoons water. Cover the pan with a tight lid and cook on the lowest possible heat for 35 minutes (a heat diffuser helps). Turn off the heat, spoon over the saffron and its water, cover with a tea towel, put the lid back on and set aside for 10 minutes. 6. Serve hot, using a large spoon so that you have portions in which the two layers are distinct and separate.

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