Saffron Rice

This definitely doesn't taste like you're trying to reduce your cholesterol, although it is actually pretty holier than thou (saturated fat wise) when you only use olive oil in the recipe. Once in a blue moon I throw all caution to the wind and add the smallest half a teaspoon of butter... and if you haven't eaten butter for as many months as we haven't, this makes the rice taste out of this world. This amazingly easy Moro recipe base has made rice way more popular in our house than anything else, and I am learning that it goes with much more than just curry.


  • Basmati Rice
  • 1 Onion
  • Large Pinch Saffron
  • 5 Cardamom Pods (slightly squashed)
  • 3 Black Peppercorns
  • Half a stick of Cinammon
  • (Optional) TINY 1/2 tsp butter


This recipe is very similar to the Moro Pilav recipe, but with different spices… You have to soak your rice a couple of hours in advance but the actual recipe only takes 20 mins to prepare and cook – so is actually quite quick. I use a mug (and a half maybe) of Basmati rice per person

Wash your rice really carefully in a bowl of cold water, gently rubbing the grains of rice to wash off the starch.  Drain, rinse and repeat at least 3 times until the water is clear

Leave the rice for a couple of hours, soaking in tepid water in the fridge with a teaspoon of salt stirred in

When you are ready to cook – soak a large pinch of saffron in a couple of tablespoons of boiling water & cut a piece of greaseproof paper the same size as your saucepan

Add your chopped onions to a hot pan with a reasonable amount of olive oil for frying (couple of tablespoons)

When they are starting to soften and brown a little (not too much – about 10 mins?), add your spices (peppercorns, cardamom and cinnamon) cook for a couple of minutes on a medium heat until the spices begin to release their aromas

Add your drained rice and a little more olive oil if you need it – you want to coat all the rice as you stir (if you were going to go crazy and use a tiny bit of butter, now is the time to add it to the rice)

Season with salt & pepper and add enough water to cover the rice by 5mm

Put a piece of greaseproof paper over your rice and put the lid on – simmer for 5 minutes on a medium heat

When the first 5 mins is up – lift the lid & paper and gently stir in your saffron strands in water.  Put the paper & lid back on and give it another 5 mins on a very low heat this time

When your time is up – the rice should be done but could need a couple of minutes standing time.  The rice should be starting slightly to catch at the bottom of the pan; and the liquid should all have disappeared

This rice is absolutely delicious with grilled chicken, fish or just a dollop of steamed veg and some yoghurt

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