Here’s another one to add to your array of quick side dishes! Saffron Rice is easy to prepare, delightfully yummy and ready in less than thirty minutes!
Don’t get me wrong, I love plain white rice. But when it comes to grilled or stir-fried meat, this is hands-down my favorite rice side dish.
Full disclosure though, my husband said that I tend to use too much saffron (?!). Up to this day, I refuse to acknowledge that. I am aware though, that saffron is quite tricky that way. So, feel free to change the amount of saffron in this recipe to suit your taste.
HOW TO PREPARE SAFFRON RICE
DOES IT MATTER HOW I SLICE THE ONION?
Yep. The onions should disappear in the rice (like with risotto), so you have to slice them as fine as you can. Also, white onions are better, since they will completely take on the color of the saffron.
WHAT KIND OF STOCK SHOULD I USE?
I use either chicken or vegetable stock, result for both is good. But personally, I prefer using chicken stock, because that is ALWAYS what I have, and I feel that the extra fat in it makes the rice tastier.
HOW TO USE SAFFRON THREADS IN RICE?
For this dish, you can use powdered saffron or threads – I have tried both. Before our trip to Barcelona, I only had powdered saffron on hand. But since good saffron is not hard to find in Barcelona, I sort of bought tons (more like hoarded!), so I now have a stash for a COUPLE of years. 😀
When I am using saffron threads, I use a mortar and pestle to grind them. Then, I take a tablespoon (or two) of the heated stock, mix the powdered saffron with it, and then set it aside for at least five minutes. If you want to see threads of saffron in your rice, do not grind them all. Leave some threads intact. Admittedly, I do this sometimes when I have guests – they look really good on top of the dish.
IS IT BETTER TO USE BASMATI RICE OR JASMINE RICE?
I have tried both jasmine and basmati rice with this recipe, and even if I prefer jasmine rice for my plain white rice, I am with the basmati-team for saffron rice. It just feels…FLUFFIER.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH SAFFRON RICE?
My preference? Any dish that does not have a TON of sauce. Having said that, I have seen some friends who love to pour the sauce of their main dish on a serving of saffron rice. I just feel like this will completely overpower the taste of saffron in the rice – it being a very subtle flavor and all.
The easiest way to find out? Try pairing it with your favorite mains and decide for yourself!
For other side dish recipes, check out these posts:
- Swedish Potatoes with Dill Cream Sauce
- Spanish Marinated Eggplant & Peppers
- Spanish Spinach with Chickpeas
Lastly, this post was initially published on 22ndof Feb 2017. But since I’m adding videos to my old posts, I decided to change the images as well. No change done in the recipe though. 🙂
VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE SAFFRON RICE
(*This post contains some affiliate links)
MY AMAZON PICKS:
- 1 and 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small white onion, finely sliced
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 1 and 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- salt to season
- 1 tbsp parsley, chopped (optional)
Heat up the stock in a pan and bring to a simmer.
Use a pestle and mortar to grind the saffron threads into a fine powder. Get a tablespoon of the simmering stock and put in a cup with the powdered saffron. Set aside.
Rinse the basmati rice as per package instructions.
Heat up a pan and pour the olive oil. Add the finely sliced onions and cook until soft (and caramelized).
Add the rinsed basmati rice and stir to combine. Pour the stock and the saffron that has been set aside.
Bring to a boil. Season with salt and gently mix the rice with a fork (I find that this makes them fluffier when cooked).
Lower the heat to low and wait for all the water to be absorbed and the rice to be cooked. Mine normally takes around 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and use a fork gently (again) to separate the rice.
Leave covered for 2 to 3 minutes
Serve with chopped parsley, if desired.