I love this saffron rice and I make this whenever I have some guests coming over. Why? The dish is easy, fragrant, and super delicious.
Here, I am going to share my mom's recipe. This was our favorite rice growing up and is still is. It's nothing fancy and is also reasonably easy to make. One thing I love about this recipe is that it requires very few ingredients.
What Ingredients are Needed for Saffron Rice?
Rice- Long-grain basmati rice is perfect for this rice. Do not use any other rice for this recipe because the beauty of this rice lies in the separated grains.
Ghee- I prefer to use a traditional method that uses Ghee. The use of ghee / clarified butter gives this rice a wonderful aroma. For a vegan alternative, use any oil, such as avocado oil or olive oil.
I would suggest that you don't use coconut oil. It has a fragrance that doesn't do justice to this fragrant rice. Avocado oil or grapefruit oil is perfect for this recipe.
Cashews and Raisins- I love to use a handful of them, but if you do not want to use cashew nuts, use Almonds.
Saffron- Use any good quality saffron for making this rice. Good quality saffron gives this rice a lovely yellow color and a wonderful fragrance.
What Can We Serve with Saffron Rice?
Traditionally, it is served with several accompaniments. Mostly, it is served with a beautiful platter. A few of the dishes are curries, dal, raita, and papad.
You can have them as it is, but they will taste great when served with these things. We used to have this rice with Bengali Cholar/Chana Dal/Split Chickpea Lentil, which tasted divine.
How to Make Saffron Rice?
Firstly, wash and soak the basmati rice. 30 minutes of soaking is really important to make this rice fluffier. Then, we must roast this rice with ghee, nuts, and whole spices. Roasting gives this rice an excellent, nutty taste.
The water to rice ratio is almost double, and then add the soaked saffron to it. The cooking is done covered for around 13-14 minutes. However, do not remove the lid for another 15 minutes.
You Can Also Check these Recipes to Serve with Saffron Rice-
- 2 Cups Basmati Rice
- 2 Tbsp Ghee/Oil of your choice/Butter
- ¼ Cup Cashews
- 1 Tbsp Raisin
- 10-12 Strands Saffron
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Black Cardamom
- 1 Inch long Cinnamon Stick
- 2 Cloves
- 4 Cups Water
- Wash rice under running tap water for at least 4-5 times .This process removes the starch from rice and your grains look separated.
- Soak the rice for 30 minutes in sufficient tap water.
- After 30 minutes drain the rice through a sieve .WE need to dry the rice for 15 minute on sieve (leave it just like that or take a plate ,place a thick layer of paper towel and place drained rice on that .Paper will absorb all the extra moisture from the rice.
- Take a pan .Add ghee/oil /butter to it .
- When its hot enough turn the flame to low/medium ,and add bay leaf ,cardamom ,clove and cinnamon to it .Let them crackle for 30 seconds.
- Add cashew and fry it on low flame till it looks pink or roasted.If using roasted cashew just add that .
- Now add raisin . Saute it for 30 seconds .Don't let them burn ,otherwise they will leave a foul taste in your mouth.
- Add rice to it .Be careful about not throwing paper towel in the pan..Saute rice for 2 minutes on medium flame.
- Crush your saffron using roller pin and soak it into 2 tbsp of hot water.
- Add 4 cups of water to it .Stir it once and mix saffron water and salt to it .
- Cover it with a lid and keep the flame on high .
- When your rice starts boiling (it will take about 1 minute)turn the flame low .
- It will take another 10-12(or sometimes 15 minutes) minute for your rice to get ready .Check it after 12 minutes once if its ready or not . Take one grain and crush it between your fingers .If its done switch off the flame if not leave it for another 5 minutes like that. .This saffron rice is not mushy like jasmine rice .Grains are separated.
- Let it stay covered for around 10 minutes after you switch off the flame .
- After 10 minutes remove the lid .Fluff it with fork and serve .