2 1/2 cups long grain basmati rice, rinsed and soaked in water with 1 tablespoon of salt for a couple of hours. Drain.
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon ground saffron, dissolved in 3-4 tablespoons of hot water
A pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons strained vegetable stock
Butter or vegetable oil
Garnish: barberries, slivered almonds or pistachios
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot on medium-high heat, add the rice and boil for about 8-10 minutes or until rice grains are soft on the ends and firm in the center. Drain and pour some cool water over it to wash away the starch and to separate the rice grains. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large mixing bowl combine yogurt, yolks, salt, saffron, water and turmeric. Mix well.
Add the rice to the yogurt mixture, blend well.
In a nonstick pan, add 3 tablespoons oil and a tablespoon of liquid saffron. Move the pan in a circular motion to cover the bottom uniformly. Ladle the rice into the pan, flatten with a wooden spoon while pressing down. Pour 2-3 tablespoons strained vegetable stock, 2 tablespoons oil or melted butter and the remaining liquid saffron over the rice.
Place the pot on medium-high heat. When you notice a steam coming up, lower the heat, cover and bake for 30 minutes.
To serve this dish let it cool for a few minutes, this way the crust comes off easier. Place a round serving platter that is larger than the diameter of the pan. Hold firmly while wearing mittens, then gently turn the pan over. Garnish as you like.