Rinse the rice very well. Then leave to soak in plenty of water for 30 minutes.
Bring the 8 cups of water to a boil and add in the rice and the salt. Bring back to a boil and cook uncovered for 6 minutes. The outside of the rice should be tender, but the inside should still be hard.
Strain the rice and rinse in warm water. Toss around in a strainer to remove as much water as possible.
Heat the pan to a medium heat and add the oil and two tablespoons of water. Once the oil starts to sizzle add a thin layer of the parboiled rice onto the base. Then start to add the rest of the rice slowly in a pyramid shape as to not let the rice on the bottom get squashed.
With the end of a wooden spoon, poke three to four holes into the pyramid of rice, this will help let the steam escape from the bottom.
Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and mix it with 3 tablespoons of water. Drizzle this mixture over the rice.
Wrap the pot lid with a tea towel and cover the pot as tightly as possible. Leave the pot on high heat for three minutes and then lower to the lowest heat possible. Leave the rice to steam.
Steep the saffron for at least 10 minutes in a few tablespoons of hot water and set aside. After 45 minutes the rice will be ready, remove approximately one cup of the rice and set aside in a bowl. Mix this rice with the saffron water.
Scoop out the remainder of rice and gently place on a serving tray. Scatter the saffron infused rice on top of the white rice creating a beautiful presentation. Serve the tah-deeg ,or the crispy bottom layer, on a small plate on the side.
2 Cups of Basmati Rice
8 Cups of Water
1 tbsp. of Sea Salt
4 tbsp. of Vegetable Oil
4 tbsp. of Butter
1 tsp. of Saffron
Tips and Tricks
It is important to clean the rice thoroughly and to soak for at least thirty minutes. This will help the rice cook evenly and quickly.
Once the rice starts to steam, resist the urge to open the lid. If the steam escapes, then the rice will not be able to get cooked thoroughly.
An alternative method of serving your rice can be done as follows: after the rice is fully cookeddrizzle the saffron water on the rice creating a marble effect. Then submerge the whole pot in ice water. The coldness will shock the rice and will release easily from the pot. Then invert the whole pot onto your serving dish.