Persian Rice

I am having one of those weeks – I call them, “I have fallen and I can’t catch up” weeks.  I come home everyday with my inbox completely full of email, the girls asking a million questions, and I can’t even think about what to make for dinner.  Oh, and throw Halloween into the mix – and things have really just been turned upside down.

I really can’t complain though, not after seeing the pictures of the devastation that occurred this week from Hurricane Sandy.  My parents live in New London, CT – and I have been going there all my life.  The seawall that I have walked on thousands of times has crumbled – and the debris on the streets was quite a sight – a toilet seat, a refrigerator?  Probably from one of the beach clubs that got washed away.  Very sad.  Thank goodness they were safe, as was their home.  It is going to be a long time though before the neighborhood gets back to normal.

Even though we didn’t have a hurricane, the rain here has been something else.  We had our 60+ days of sun, and the rain came pouring back into our lives.  This post brings me back to summer.  My family loves rice – and for the most part I buy it frozen and warm it in the microwave.  I saw this recipe in Cooking Light though, and had to indulge.  This was delicious – crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside – with a really nice tangy taste from the yogurt.  Everyone loved it, and it was the perfect side to go with our summer vegetables from the garden.  Goodbye summer, see you next year.  And to all of you on the east coast – I hope you survived the storm ok.  I hope things can go back to normal soon.


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup long-grain basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil


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.

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