How to cook Basmati Rice Flavoured with Saffron

Minoo demonstrated how to cook Basmati Rice Flavoured with Saffron in the Gilmore Church Park Community Kitchen. I had blogged about saffron here. Saffron is a very aromatic spice which also gives a vibrant yellow to a dish.


People often think that saffron is a very expensive spice. However, Minoo gave us a tip on how to use saffron effectively. When you buy a box of saffron, grind the saffron with two cube sugars using a coffee bean grinder or mortar and pestle. Use the spice sparingly.


IMG_9474_edited-1Bring a pot of water to a boil. Wash the rice until the water runs clear to get rid of most of the starch. Add the rice into the boiling water to boil for about 10 minutes or until al-dante. Season with 1 or 2 teaspoons of salt. It is ok to season with more salt because the water will be drained off later.
IMG_9476_edited-1Rinse the al-dante rice under cold running water to stop the cooking.
IMG_9477_edited-1In a pot, bring 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water and a teaspoon or two of oil to a boil. Return the rice. Use the back of a wooden to spoon to make a few holes in the rice. Cover and let steam on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. This method of cooking Basmati rice will yield individual grain rice instead of sticky rice. It is the best way of cooking Basmati rice.
IMG_9486_edited-1Dissolve a pinch of ground saffron in 1/4 cup of boiling water.
IMG_9487_edited-1Add 1/3 of the rice to the saffron solution and gently mix. Top the saffron permeated rice over the rest of the rice. This way, you will be able to enjoy the rice with saffron fragrant without putting a hole in your wallet.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Mansi

    saffron gives such a beautiful color to everything, its an amazing spice! I love it:)

  2. Windy

    I tried saffron with Basmati Rice in an Indian restaurant before, but don’t really like it much. However, I find that it would be better to have it in paella.

  3. Jessica

    Ill have to try that recipe! How do you make sticky rice? I love it and think its such a silly question that Ive been too embarrased to ask any of my asian friends! 🙂

  4. suanne

    Hi Jessica, the sticky rice is a type of Asian short grain rice which is also called glutinous or sweet rice. It is usually steamed.

  5. frances

    On a weeks cruise we visit Tunisia a few of us who like cooking bought some herbes spices one of the ladies had saffron in her packet of the herbs said she did not know how to use the saffron she was giving it back to the shopkeeper thats when i ask her for it. i know how to check out on google how to use the saffron spice so thanks very much keep up the good work . from frances.

  6. adama

    I recently went to Morocco and brought back some ground saffron which is a lighter yellow colour. Is this right or have i been misold and given another ground spice.

  7. Makamae

    Hi. I want to try this recipe however, I don’t see anywhere that gives the amount of rice and water to use?

    1. Suanne

      Hi Makamae, the cooking method in this recipe is similar to cooking pasta i.e. with lots of water. The amount of rice and water does not matter because the rice will be drained after 10 minutes.

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