Rating: 4.41 stars
153 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 90
  • 4 star values: 45
  • 3 star values: 12
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 3

Indian saffron is richer, darker in its red-orange color then the Spanish or Italian, and gives a better flavor to rice. The saffron should always be steeped in hot water ahead of time and used as part of the liquid in the recipe. The following is a recipe prepared in the Indian manner.

Recipe Summary

prep:
5 mins
cook:
20 mins
total:
25 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Steep the saffron in 1/2 cup boiling water.

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  • In a skillet that can be tightly covered, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the rice and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the rice begins to absorb the butter and becomes opaque, but do not brown the rice.

  • Quickly pour in the remaining 1 1/2 cups boiling water along with the saffron water. Cover immediately, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed. For best results, do not remove the lid while the rice is cooking.

Nutrition Facts

154 calories; protein 2.5g; carbohydrates 26.1g; fat 4.1g; cholesterol 10.2mg; sodium 418.2mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (114)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/30/2008
I used Basmati rice, replaced the water with chicken stock and added a cinnamon stick. I first heated about a 1/4 cup of stock with the saffron in the microwave for about 2 mins. Let it set for about 5 mins. Added everything to my rice cooker and let stand on "warm" for about 1/2 hour. This allowed the flavors to really settle in before turning on to cook. Rice came out bright and colorful. At the end added some frozen peas/carrots that had been defrosted in the microwave. Read More
(189)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
08/01/2008
Good recipe, but unnecessarily complicated. The saffron does not need to be steeped separately, nor does the water have to be boiling in order to turn out perfectly cooked and fluffy rice. I used saffron threads to taste, and chicken broth rather than water. This is a perfect, pretty and understated rice side dish to complement spicier meats or main dishes. Read More
(173)
153 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 90
  • 4 star values: 45
  • 3 star values: 12
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5 stars
01/30/2008
I used Basmati rice, replaced the water with chicken stock and added a cinnamon stick. I first heated about a 1/4 cup of stock with the saffron in the microwave for about 2 mins. Let it set for about 5 mins. Added everything to my rice cooker and let stand on "warm" for about 1/2 hour. This allowed the flavors to really settle in before turning on to cook. Rice came out bright and colorful. At the end added some frozen peas/carrots that had been defrosted in the microwave. Read More
(189)
Rating: 3 stars
07/31/2008
Good recipe, but unnecessarily complicated. The saffron does not need to be steeped separately, nor does the water have to be boiling in order to turn out perfectly cooked and fluffy rice. I used saffron threads to taste, and chicken broth rather than water. This is a perfect, pretty and understated rice side dish to complement spicier meats or main dishes. Read More
(173)
Rating: 4 stars
11/01/2006
Like several others, I used saffron threads instead of powder. I steeped the saffron in 1/2c room temp. white wine. I used chicken bullion (veg. stock would also be a good substitute) for the remaining 1 1/2c liquid. Both these additions added a good amount of flavor to the rice. Read More
(144)
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Rating: 4 stars
04/18/2004
What a great way to make flavored rice. I only used only about 1 tablespoon of butter. Instead of using powdered saffron, I went to an Indian store and purchase saffron threads, they are much cheaper compare to the American grocer. I put the saffron thread with boiling water, mush it with the back of the spoon to help release more of the flavor before pouring it to the rice. For one cup of rice I used a little less than 1/4 tsp of thread. I hope this helps! Read More
(71)
Rating: 5 stars
04/08/2007
I tripled this recipe for a dinner party and it came out great. It was the first thing to disappear from the platter and the first thing that I was complimented on by my guests. I used whole Spanish saffron threads but used more than I would have if I had Indian saffron. I also added about 8 green cardamom pods and 8 cloves to give a little extra flavor. I also used ghee instead of whole butter. I couldn't have been more pleased with it and I'm pretty picky about my basmati! Read More
(50)
Rating: 4 stars
06/02/2003
I agree with other reviewers that the texture of the rice did come out perfect. However my rice also suffered from a lack of taste. Maybe because I had to use Mexican Saffron. That was all I could find. It does have a pretty yellow color though. I served with Indonesian Pork Satay. The nice part was the taste of this rice did not over power my main dish. Read More
(32)
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Rating: 5 stars
08/19/2006
Excellent recipe. I topped each serving with a light sprinkle of cinnamon and toasted pine nuts as they do in a local restaurant. Scrumptious! Read More
(25)
Rating: 4 stars
04/09/2003
I must say that I have never had rice turn out as fluffy and as tender as this! Mine usually sticks together and eventually turns to mush. However I was very disappointed by the flavor. It could have been because I used Spanish saffron so I will try Indian next time. I hate to say this but the Zatarain's yellow rice had more flavor! To save my beautiful fluffy grains I ended up adding tumeric which REALLY helped alot. Read More
(20)
Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2004
Great recipe!! However I used chicken broth instead of the water and it turned out excellent. The saffron rice went great with the Marakesh Vegetable Curry. Read More
(17)