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Spiced saffron rice (India)

China Daily | Updated: 2015-06-26 08:24

Spiced saffron rice (India)

[Photo/China Daily]

This rice is simple to make, delicious, and undeniably South Asian with the flavors of cardamom, cinnamon and cloves infusing the bright yellow saffron grains. A great anytime rice, this dish complements almost any kebab, chop, or roast and most curries wonderfully. A really versatile recipe you'll want to serve again and again.


¾ teaspoon crushed saffron threads soaked in 2 tablespoons of boiling water

¼ cup unsalted butter

Seeds from 6 cardamom pods, crushed

4 cloves, crushed

1 cinnamon stick, about 3 inches long

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 cup basmati or other long-grain rice

2 ½ cups water or mixed water with part meat or vegetable broth

1 teaspoon salt


Dissolve the crushed saffron in the 2 tablespoons of boiling water, mix well, and set aside. Then, in a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the cardamom seeds, cloves, and cinnamon stick to the pan and fry, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes or until it is translucent and coloring.

Now, add the rice, reduce the heat to medium and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the water or broth, salt, and stir in the saffron mixture. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.

Remove the pan from the heat but keep pan covered for at least 10 minutes. Then, remove lid and discard the cinnamon stick. Fluff with a fork and serve.

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