Sprinkle the saffron on top of the ice cubes in a glass. Set them aside and leave to bloom. Alternatively you can dissolve the saffron in a few tbsp of freshly boiled water. Keep it in a warm place until you use it later.
Wash the rice in a bowl with water by just moving it around with your hand. Then drain the water and repeat these steps a few times.
Bring a pan of water to boil. Dissolve 2 tbsp of salt in it (no worries, any excess salt will be washed off later, but trust me without this amount of salt your rice will taste bland). Add the rice, stir it well and allow the water to boil again.
Let the rice parboil for a minutes. If you are familiar with the rice brand you’re using, let it parboil the usual length of time (usually somewhere between 3 and 7 minutes) minus 2 minutes. I usually let my rice parboil 3 to 4 minutes, so after 2 minutes I add the noodles.
Break the noodles in half and add them to the rice. Let both parboil together for another 2 minutes.
Remove a rice corn from the pan and split it with your fingernail. If the outside is soft but the centre of the rice corn is still firm, it is parboiled and can be drained and rinsed now. Think of it as half cooked pasta for a pasta bake.
Drain the rice water in a fine colander and rinse the rice and noodles with cold water. Stir them with a spoon while you rinse them to make sure that the excess salt washes off and that it cools down to interrupt the cooking process.
Transfer 2 tbsp vegetable oil to a coated pan over medium heat. Add a layer of rice to it, then sprinkle it with cinnamon powder. Repeat these steps until the rice and cinnamon powder are used up.
Poke a few holes in the rice with the back of a wooden spoon. Wait until you see steam rising from the pan, then cover it with a kitchen towel lined lid and reduce the temperature to low. Let the rice steam for 45 minutes.
In the meantime peel and slice the onions.
Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a frying pan and melt 1 tbsp butter in it. Gently brown the onions in it over medium heat, stirring regularly. In the end you can add a few tsp of the saffron water to them. Remove the onions from the pan and set them aside for later.
Melt 1 tbsp butter in the pan. Add the raisins and briefly sauté them. This should take well under a minute, as the raisins burn and burst easily. Remove them from the heat and set them aside for later.
Once the rice is ready replace the lid with a plate and carefully flip the pan upside down. This part is now entirely up to you, but I’ll tell you what I do.
I remove the tahdig to serve it separately. Then I take about a quarter of the rice and combine it with the saffron water until it is evenly yellow. Then I decorate the white rice with yellow rice, onions and raisins. If you serve it with another dish, like I did, incorporate it in the design of your dish et voilà – Your Reshteh Polo is ready to serve. Enjoy!