In a large bowl, rinse rise several times until the water drains clear.
Fill bowl with water again and add a large pinch of salt. Allow rice to soak for about 20 minutes while you boil water. Reserve 3 tablespoons of boiling water for later use. *I've read/heard different soaking times, anywhere from no soaking to overnight.
Bring a large pot with 4 cups of water to a boil. Drain rice and add to boiling water. Allow to cook, uncovered on medium-high heat for exactly 8 minutes (Set your timer.) Skim the foam off the top.
When rice is done, it should begin to puff up, be soft on the outside and hard on the inside. Drain rice and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.
Using a mortar and pestle, grind a large pinch of saffron until it becomes powdery. Dissolve saffron in reserved 3 tablespoons hot water and stir with a spoon. Set aside.
Heat a medium size non-stick skillet on medium high heat and add oil, 3 Tb plain water, turmeric and saffron liquid. Gently swirl pan around so bottom is fully coated.
Add rice back into the pan, making sure the entire bottom is covered. Using the back of your large spoon, poke holes into the rice mound being careful not to go all the way down. Allow to cook on medium-high for 10 minutes, you should see steam coming out.
Cover pan lid with a kitchen towel and close pan. The towel will catch any moisture from the rice. Allow to cook for another 35 minutes. When it's done, you should hear a sizzle and crackling sound.
To serve: remove lid and place plate on top, carefully inverting the pan so the bottom of the rice is up. Or you can scoop the rice out and break the tahdig apart and scatter around the edges.