Iranians love to celebrate joyous events by sharing sweet treats with the community. I made this for a colleague of mine, who made a variant of it using mascarpone cheese. The next day, he told me that his guests wiped their bowls clean and shamelessly licked their fingers afterwards.
- 200g (1 cup) basmati rice
- 30ml (2 tbsp) saffron infusion
- 125ml (½ cup) rosewater
- 50g (3.5oz) butter
- 400g (2 cups) caster sugar
- a sprinkling of ground cinnamon
- a handful of chopped or slivered pistachio nuts
The best way to get the most flavour and colour out of the saffron is to steep it.
To do this, grind 2 teaspoons of saffron pistils to a fine powder using a pestle and mortar.
Add 30ml (2 tbsp) of boiling hot water and set aside to soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
In a large pot, soak the rice with boiling water and set aside for 10 minutes.
Drain and refill with 1 ½ litres (6 cups) of boiling water.
Place on a medium heat and let the rice cook through.
This will take between 15 and 20 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, blend the rice completely so the rice grains are broken up into a thick paste.
Add the sugar, butter, rose water and saffron infusion and boil for another 10 minutes so that all the flavours are mixed with the rice.
Turn off the heat.
Using a ladle, pour the dessert into small serving bowls, then put them in the fridge to cool for at least an hour.
When set, scatter some pistachio nuts and a sprinkling of cinnamon and serve with Persian-style black tea.