This northern Iranian specialty is topped with dried barberries, a tart local fruit. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue, with Anissa Helou’s story The Land of Bread and Spice.
- 3 cups long-grain white rice
- 2 tbsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 1⁄2 cups plain yogurt
- 1⁄2 cup canola oil, plus more
- 1⁄2 tsp. crushed saffron
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3⁄4 cup barberries or dried cranberries
- 1⁄2 cup currants
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. rose water
- Rinse rice in a strainer under running water until water runs clear. Transfer to a bowl with 2 tbsp. salt, cover with water, and soak for 2 hours; drain. Boil 6 cups water in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat. Add rice; cook until it begins to rise to the surface, about 12 minutes. Drain and rinse until water runs clear.
- Heat oven to 350°. Transfer rice to a bowl; stir in yogurt, oil, saffron, yolks, and salt. Pour rice mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ baking dish; smooth top and cover with foil.Bake rice until a golden-brown crust forms on bottom, about 1 hour, 45 minutes. Uncover, and run a knife between rice and dish to loosen crust; place a platter over dish and invert. Cut rice into squares.
- Heat butter in a 10″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add barberries, currants, and sugar; cook until hot. Add rose water; cook for 1 minute; remove from heat. Garnish rice with berries and currants.