What Is Saffron Rice?
Saffron rice is an accompaniment dish made of long-grain rice (like jasmine rice, joha rice and basmati rice) as well as saffron and, usually, vegetable broth or stock made with Bouillon. Like coconut rice (white rice cooked with coconut milk), the most common method of cooking saffron rice is boiling it over the stove rather than steaming it. Saffron is a costly spice, so cooks with budgets can incorporate ground turmeric in the recipe to improve its golden color.
It is a popular dish in Pakistan along with throughout the Indian subcontinent; saffron-based rice recipes include the use of clarified butter as well as bay leaves, and vegetable bouillon. Spanish saffron rice can also include minced bell peppers, garlic, and olive oil. It is possible to make Persian saffron rice as a part of a tahdig. It’s a crisp dish made of “scorched rice,” which is flipped onto the platter for serving. Iranian and Turkish saffron rice, also known as zerde, is closer to a sweet treat topped with sugar, rose water, and chopped nuts.
What Does Saffron Taste Like?
Saffron rice is characterized by an earthy and floral aroma similar to the Crocus flower from which it gets its name. Depending on the dish’s amount of saffron, its signature sweet, sharp musk could be pronounced or barely noticeable.
The ingredients largely determine the taste of a rice dish: Bouillon, made of vegetables or ghee, typically gives a slightly salted and savory taste to the food.
3 Ways to Serve Saffron Rice
Serve the rice as an appetizer or as part of a bigger presentation as the main dish. Here are some different options for serving the dish:
- In Indian rice, pilaf: Pulao is an essential food during Indian celebrations and other special occasions. It is fragrant with various spices and decorated with dried and nuts fruits. Saffron is a typical variant. It is possible to use saffron-infused milk to garnish biryani dishes.
- It can be substituted for plain white rice: Saffron rice isn’t as sticky and lacks certain of the sticky qualities found in rice steamed; however, it is a lively addition to many of your main dishes. In Thailand, Saffron rice is often served alongside roast chicken. It is often served with roast vegetables, fried eggs, or on a mezze platter.
- With stews and braises: Ladle the rich, hearty braises with broth with a bowl of saffron rice for an even more satisfying (and gluten-free) dinner.
How to make Saffron Rice
Step 1. Incorporate saffron into the mortar. Using a pestle, grind the saffron until it becomes a powdery consistency. Add 1 cup hot water into the pestle and mix until it is combined. Set aside.
Step 2: Add the chicken or vegetable stock into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil at a high temperature. When the stock has reached a boil, add your saffron/water mixture, olive oil, salt and turmeric. Stir well. Add rice and bring the mixture back to a simmer. When it is boiling, reduce the temperature to a simmer and close the lid tightly. Let it simmer on low for about 15 minutes.
Step 3. Remove the stove from heat. Allow the rice to sit covered with a lid for 5-10 minutes until the liquid is completely removed. Take the lid off and fluff the rice using a fork.