Saffron Rice Pilaf Recipe (Parsi Pulao)


Saffron rice, an Indian rice pilaf seasoned with saffron, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, orange zest, pistachios, and almonds. Additionally known as parsi pulao.

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Elise Bauer

When my good friend Kerissa Barron first informed me about this buttery rice pilaf, I couldn’t wait to attempt it. Then she informed me it had saffron in it. Uh oh.

For some motive, saffron is a spice that form of tastes like cleaning soap to me. Not an enormous fan. However, I’ll attempt absolutely anything as soon as, and on this case, thank goodness. I couldn’t cease consuming this saffron rice!

Saffron rice in small single serving bowl

Elegant and Easy

Browned in clarified butter, with cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, cooked in a saffron infusion, and tossed with nuts and raisins, this rice is the bomb.

Kerissa came to visit the opposite day to make it with me. Right here’s what she says about it:

Whether or not you make it to accompany a home made Indian feast or just serving alongside a roast hen from the grocery store, this rice, specked with nuts and raisins, imbued with the golden coloration of saffron, and fragranced with cardamom, cinnamon, clove and orange can really maintain its personal.

How one can Retailer Saffron

You’ll solely want a half teaspoon of saffron threads for this recipe, so that you’ll probably have some leftover. Fortunately, saffron shops fairly nicely!

Hold it in an hermetic glass jar in a cabinet away from direct daylight. It ought to preserve simply effective for not less than a least a yr. So long as the strands nonetheless odor aromatic while you open the jar, the saffron is sweet to make use of.

Extra Methods to Prepare dinner with Saffron

Up to date April 10, 2019 : We spiffed up this submit to make it sparkle. No modifications to the unique recipe.

Saffron Rice Pilaf Recipe


To make clarified butter for this recipe, soften four tablespoons of sliced unsalted butter in a small saucepan on medium warmth. Let the butter foam up, which releases its moisture. When the foaming subsides a bit, you might even see solids within the melted butter starting to brown, take away from warmth and pour via a effective mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel (to pressure out the solids) right into a bowl.

Typically relying on how the rice was packed, it should have to be rinsed earlier than cooking, particularly rice that you simply purchase in massive bulk luggage. If there’s powdery stuff across the rice, you may must rinse it. If so together with your rice, rinse it till the rinsing water runs clear, and unfold the rice out to dry on a big baking sheet. Be certain it’s utterly dry earlier than frying.


  • half teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 Tbsp ghee or clarified butter (see Recipe Notice)
  • four cardamom pods
  • 1 small (2-inch) cinnamon stick
  • four entire cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 half cups lengthy grain white rice
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • Zest from one orange (about 1 half teaspoons, packed)
  • 2 tablespoon pistachios
  • 2 tablespoon blanched slivered or sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoon golden raisins


1 Soak saffron in scorching water: Warmth a big kettle of water (a bit of greater than a quart) to boiling. Place saffron in a small bowl, cowl with 2 tablespoons of the recent water, put aside.

2 Fry the spices: Warmth 2 tablespoons of ghee or clarified butter in a 2 quart, thick-bottomed saucepan on medium-high warmth till scorching. Add the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, and peppercorns to the pan. Gently fry the spices for two minutes.

three Brown the rice: Add rice, and fry for three extra minutes, stirring after a minute or two. A few of the rice ought to brown on the backside of the pan.

four Add water and seasonings, and cook dinner: Take away the pan from warmth. Add 4 cups of the recent water you ready in the 1st step to the pan, taking care so as to add slowly as it could bubble up and splatter. Add two teaspoons of salt. Add the saffron threads and their soaking liquid. Add the orange zest.

Stir, convey rapidly to a boil, cut back the warmth to the bottom setting. Cowl tightly and cook dinner for 20 minutes.

four Toast pistachios and almonds: Whereas the rice is cooking, in a small frying pan, warmth on medium excessive warmth and add the pistachios and slivered almonds. Toast till frivolously browned, about three or four minutes, take away from pan right into a bowl.

5 Take away spices, add raisins: After 20 minutes, take away the lid from the rice, select the spices which have floated to the highest of the rice – the cinnamon stick, any entire cardamom pods, black peppercorns or cloves.

Scatter golden raisins excessive of the rice. Exchange the lid and cook dinner for five extra minutes.

6 Stir within the toasted almonds and pistachios and serve.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founding father of Merely Recipes. Elise launched Merely Recipes in 2003 as a approach to preserve monitor of her household’s recipes, and alongside the best way grew it into some of the common cooking web sites on the planet. Elise is devoted to serving to dwelling cooks achieve success within the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford College, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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