Saffron rice – fragrant one-pot exotic dish packed full of flavours and aroma. Subtly flavoured, yellow hue savoury Indian saffron rice doesn't require any chopping, sautéing, grinding - means one of the easy and quick saffron recipes that gets ready in under 30 minutes.
As always, you will find the full ingredients list with measurements and detailed recipe instructions in a separate recipe box underneath the text section. To bypass the text section choose "JUMP TO RECIPE" or "PRINT RECIPE" or click the "JUMP TO VIDEO" option to watch the full video of this recipe. All options are located at the beginning of the post.
Aromatic Indian saffron rice is a perfect accompaniment to most main courses. It can be prepared ahead of time and reheated in a microwave oven just before serving on busy days. The intense earthy flavour and floral aroma of saffron provide a royal taste to both sweet and savoury dishes. Just a few strands are sufficient to impart lovely flavour and colour to the whole dish. Check out Bread Rasmalai, Basundi with Condensed Milk. on the blog where saffron has been used as one of the main ingredients.
Add 2-3 green chillies or crushed chilli for fiery flavour.
Consider adding more dry fruits such as raisins, almonds, walnuts, dried cranberries for extra taste and to give yellow saffron rice a royal taste.
Add caramelised onion to give it a contrast colour, texture and flavour.
Vegetables and soyachunks could be added for extra nutrition and to transform it into a vegetable saffron rice pilaf (pulao).
You could swap vegetable stock for plain water for extra flavour.
How to coook perfect rice
Water to rice ratio plays an important role to make perfect rice. You can use any rice such as basmati, long-grain, easy cook, jasmine, brown, but make sure to follow cooking instructions on the pack. Cooking time and water to rice ratio varies with different varieties and quality of rice. Some rice varieties may require more water to cook without soaking than the rice that has been soaked for 15-20 minutes. Cooking with or without soaking rice is one more deciding factor of cooking time and the water to rice ratio. I’ve used basmati rice in this recipe and 1.25 cups of water have been used for 1 cup of rice.
Instant Pot method
Follow steps 1 and 2 from the stove top method.
Press sauté button and melt butter.
Fry whole spices – cloves, cardamom, cassia, bay leaf and cumin until fragrant.
Add cashews and fry for few seconds until it starts to turn light brown.
Cancel sauté mode.
Add soaked rice, saffron with liquid, coriander, salt and water.
Stir gently and close the pot with lid, turn knob to SEALING position.
Set pressure cook mode, adjust timer to 5 minutes at high pressure.
Once the timer goes off, let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
Turn knob to VENT position, wait until the pin located next to knob goes down.
Take the lid off the pot and fluff the rice.
Serve delicious Indian saffron rice with any side dish of your choice.
How to serve?
Watch how to make Saffron Rice
Step by step Instructions
1. wash and soak rice in sufficient water for 20 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, soak saffron strands in 2-3 tablespoon warm water.
3. Melt butter in a deep bottomed pot/saucepan over medium heat. Add whole spices - bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, cassia, cumin and fry for few seconds until spices are fragrant and cumin sizzles.
4. Add cashews and fry for a minute until it starts to turn light brown.
5. Drain water from soaked rice and add it to the pot along with soaked saffron with liquid, salt.
6. Add boiling water, coriander and gently stir.
7. Slightly increase the flame and bring it to boil. Now reduce the heat, close the pot with lid and simmer for 10-12 minutes until all the water is absorbed and rice is cooked well.
8. Switch off the flame and let it sit for 10 minutes and then take the lid off the pan and fluff the rice with a fork.
Serve delicious yellow saffron rice with any side dish of your choice.
Cooking time may vary depending on the type of burner you use and your expertise in the kitchen.
Skip cashews for nut free option.
For vegan saffron rice, swap oil or vegan butter for regular dairy butter.
Consider to use high quality saffron.
Grind saffron threads as much as you can in mortar and pestle and then soak them in warm water. This way you can extract maximum flavours and colour from saffron.
Do not fluff or stir the rice immediately after you switch the flame off. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes with the lid on and then fluff it up gently with a fork. This allows rice to absorb any last drops of water and make rice soft and fluffier.
More Rice Recipes
📖 Recipe Card
1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tablespoon = 15ml ; 1 teaspoon =15ml
- Before you get started, scroll up a little and watch a quick recipe video.
- Check the notes at the bottom of the recipe for extra info and help.
- Rinse and wash rice for 3-4 times under cold running water until water runs clear.
- Soak rice in sufficient water for 20 minutes then drain and keep it aside.
- In a small bowl, soak saffron strands in 2-3 tablespoon warm water.
- Melt butter in a deep bottomed pot or saucepan over medium flame.
- Put bayleaf, cardamom, cloves, cassia, cumin and fry for few seconds until spices are fragrant.
- Now add cashews and fry for a minute until it starts to turn light brown.
- Add water, salt and stir well. Slightly increase the flame and bring water to rolling boil.
- Reduce flame slightly, add rice, salt, saffron along with its liquid, boiling water, coriander. Now increase the flame, stir gently and bring it to boil.
- Now reduce heat to lowest possible setting, close the pot with lid and simmer for 10-12 minutes .
- Carefully lift the lid, check water has been completely absorbed and rice is cooked well, grains are soft and fluffy. If rice is not cooked then close the lid and simmer for few more minutes.
- Turn the flame off, close the pot with lid and let rice sit for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, take the lid off the pot and fluff the rice.
- Serve delicious and fragrant saffron rice with any side dish of your choice.
This recipe is a part of A to Z challenge, a challenge initiated by super active bloggers Jolly Makkar and Vidya Narayan on Facebook Group, wherein a group of bloggers comes together and we choose key ingredients alphabetically to cook and post a dish every month. This month’s challenge is to make a dish with a star ingredient name starting with the letter ‘S' so I choose Saffron as a star ingredient.
KEEP IN TOUCH
Do let me know if you make this simple and easy saffron rice. I love to get feedback from readers.