Prep: 1. Chop onion. 2. Soften saffron in 1 tablespoons hot water in a bowl. Make: 1. Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. 2. Fry almonds, stirring frequently, until golden, ~3 minutes. 3. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. 4. Fry onion in oil remaining in pot, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Transfer half of onion to a bowl. 5. Add rice to onion in pot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, ~2 minutes. 6. Add water, saffron mixture, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. 7. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until water is absorbed and rice is tender, 18-20 minutes. Let rice stand, covered, off heat 5 minutes. 8. While rice stands, stir almonds and raisins into bowl with onion. 9. Fluff rice with a fork and serve with almond mixture spooned on top.
The combination of textures in this really makes it shine. If you like to keep things more simple we recommend leaving the raisins out.