Crusty Persian Rice
Persian rice is fragrant and full of fruits and nuts. It has a crunchy crust on the bottom, which becomes the top when the rice is inverted to a serving dish.
Rinse the rice several times until the water runs clear, then soak it for 15 minutes. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil, add the salt, and then drain the rice and add it to the boiling water. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, then drain in a mesh strainer to remove extra water.
Put 2/3 of the melted butter in a heavy-bottom pan over medium heat and sauté the onions in it. Add the saffron and stir to distribute.
Add the almonds, orange zest, cinnamon, and white pepper, stir, then add the rice, cherries, and raisins. Toss the rice to distribute the fruit, pour the remaining butter over the top, cover, and cook for 40 minutes over low heat.
Add the pistachios and serve hot.
Serve with some of the crusty part from the bottom of the pot.
The Desirable Crust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The golden crust that forms on the bottom of the pot when making Persian rice is so desirable it has its own name: