Saffron Rice Pilaf

pilaf rice saffron rice

Saffron Rice Pilaf

Makes 8 servings
25 min
1 1/4 hr


  1. 3/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  2. 2 tablespoons boiling-hot water
  3. 1/3 cup olive oil
  4. 1 cup slivered almonds (4 ounces)
  5. 1 very large onion, chopped (3 to 4 cups)
  6. 3 cups white basmati rice (19 ounces)
  7. 4 1/2 cups water
  8. 1 cup dried currants (4 ounces)


    1. Soften saffron in hot water (2 tablespoons) in a small bowl.
    2. Heat oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Fry almonds, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
    3. Fry onion in oil remaining in pot, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer half of onion to a bowl.
    4. Add rice to onion in pot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add water (4 1/2 cups), saffron mixture, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until water is absorbed and rice is tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Let rice stand, covered, off heat 5 minutes.
    5. While rice stands, stir almonds and currants into bowl with onion.
    6. Fluff rice with a fork and serve with almond mixture spooned on top.
Cooks' note:
Rice pilaf can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat, uncovered, in a microwave or, tightly covered, in a 250°F oven.
Recipe by: Melissa Roberts

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