Place 4 cups water in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Add rice; cook for 10 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain.
Combine yogurt, salt, and saffron in a medium bowl. Add rice to yogurt mixture, stirring well.
Melt butter in a medium nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add rice mixture to pan, lightly packing rice down. Wrap a clean, dry dish towel around lid to pan, tying it at the handle; place prepared lid on pan. Cook rice, covered, over medium heat 20 minutes (do not stir or uncover). Reduce temperature to medium-low; cook an additional 20 minutes or until rice is tender on top and a golden crust forms on bottom.
Loosen the rice crust with a rubber spatula around the edges. Place a plate over the top of pan, and invert the rice onto plate, browned side up. Cut into 6 wedges, and serve immediately.
I think this recipe is really wonderful. Just keep your heat maybe a little lower than you think it should be (I have a touchy stove, so was paranoid the whole time that I would burn it and kept it about a notch lower than I normally would have). I also used full fat Greek yogurt since that's all I could get at the moment. The saffron gives it a subtle yet decadent flavor, it fell out of the pot in a perfectly formed cake, and it was just really a crowd pleaser. I served it with pan sauteed bay scallops and a grilled vegetable mix.
What a disaster, and looked nothing like the picture! I followed the recipe to the "inth" degree, and it turned out black on the bottom and about 1/4 inch high. It was hard and dry and all I can say is that is was a waste of expensive saffron. Sorry guys, but not a keeper.
PS>>I am a great cook and do so nearly every night. We try at least 2 recipes from your magazine every month.
This was really nice for a change of pace. The rice looked just like the picture and was very tasty. The only change I made was to sub fat-free Greek yogurt instead of 2%. I also cooked it a couple minutes less than stated and it was fine. I served it with a creamy mushroom and asparagus sauce and it was the perfect match.
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