Saffron rice – Create magic in the kitchen with this golden and aromatic rice flavored with saffron. Enjoy this subtly spiced dish on its own or with a lip-smacking curry.
I have to admit, I love saffron! Have you ever wondered why this exotic spice is so expensive? Well, it seems that the saffron threads are actually dried stigma of a flower, and you’ll need about 300 flowers to make one gram of saffron. Incredible!
Whenever I think of quick and easy flavored rice, this saffron rice comes to my mind. It’s simple and easy that anyone can cook it. At the same time, the one ingredient -saffron- elevates the dish to another level. It’s perfect if you are thinking about an Indian banquet for your next gathering. Such a glorious meal to impress your guests!
Do you know that saffron is directly linked to improving your mood? A bowl of saffron rice = happy family + happy friends = happy you. Now , seriously, do you need another reason to make this golden rice?
To make this aromatic rice dish, I soaked the rice in plenty of water prior to cooking it. But, if you are time poor, you can skip this step. You will also need to infuse saffron in a little warm milk. As soon as you pour milk into the bowl of saffron, you can see the slow change in color, from white to yellow. Make sure milk is very warm. If you don’t want to use milk, try warm water instead.
The one and only ingredient that flavors this saffron rice is saffron. And you’ll only need a few of these magic strands to do it. The color and aroma of saffron is what makes this rice super delicious.
And, yes of course, we will be frying the rice in a little ghee in the beginning of the cooking process. This will bring up the flavor, and helps cooked rice hold its shape thus preventing it from getting mushy.
Since this rice requires a side dish, and since the side dish I choose has be as glorious as the rice, I made chicken tikka masala. I should say, saffron rice and chicken tikka masala are match made in heaven. Besides this tikka curry, you also choose from other side dishes like butter chicken, slow cooker lamb curry, mutton korma, Malabar chicken curry, tawa chicken, lamb roganjosh, Malabar fish roast, beef stroganoff and chettinad pepper chicken roast. Now, if you are a vegetarian, don’t worry, I have lip-smacking side dish ideas for you. Choose from mushroom korma, paneer butter masala, chickpea korma or gobi manchurian.
Trust me, if you make this rice, everyone will be asking for seconds. Isn’t that the best part of hosting a party?
- 2 cups basmati rice
- Few saffron threads
- 2 tbsp warm milk
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 tbsp raisins
- 4 cups water
- Salt to taste
- Place rice in a large bowl. Cover with water. Set aside for 20 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
- Place saffron threads in a small bowl. Crush lightly using your fingertips. Pour in milk. Stir. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- To make saffron rice, heat ghee and oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir-fry raisins until they are plump. Add rice to pan. Stir fry for 3 minutes. Add saffron milk and 4 cups water. Season with salt. Stir. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover with lid. Cook for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender.
- Garnish with coriander (cilantro) or mint leaves. Serve with your favorite curry.
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