Persian Rice - w/ Saffron & Rose

Saffron Rice w/ Rose

A savory rice dish which is perfumed with premium strands of Zaran Saffron and flavored with rose water. With the beautiful color from saffron, it is just so festive to look at. The subtle flavor of exotic saffron combined with the nutty notes of ghee makes it a perfect side to serve with chicken, fish or vegetable and meat stews. The recipe is easy to make and uses very basic pantry ingredients. The entire process takes about 45 minutes to finish minus the soaking time and since rice almost doubles in quantity after cooking, this is a perfect dish to feed a crowd.

 

Ingredients (Serves 3-5)

 

  • 2 cups basmati rice (sela is best but any long grain basmati variety can be used, do not use brown basmati rice))
  • 4 tbsp ghee (or unsalted butter or clarified butter) *see notes
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 4.5 cups warm  (not hot) water (or diluted chicken stock/vegetable stock can be used) * read notes
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 12-15 strands of Zaran Saffron (grind the threads with a pinch of salt and infuse in 1 tbsp of warm water)
  • 1 tbsp good quality rose water
  • Few organic food grade rose petals (such as rose dose)

 

Method

 

  • Wash the rice 3-4 times under a stream of water until the water runs clear. If using sela basmati rice, soak the rice for at least 1 hour. Read package instructions for other varieties.

 

  • After soaking, drain the rice using a colander and set aside. In a heavy bottom pot with lid, warm up ghee on medium low heat. Once a little bit smoky, add the bay leaf followed by the chopped onions. Sauté the onions on low heat for 2-3 minutes until they are little soft and translucent but not browned. Next add the rice and sauté it for a minute or so with the ghee and onions gently stirring.

 

  • Add the warm water or stock next along with lemon juice. Also add the salt, at this point the water should taste bit  salty, this will ensure that rice isn’t bland after cooking. Cover the pot and bring water to a boil (takes about 5 minutes on medium high stove) Reduce the heat to lowest on your stove, remove the lid and let the bubbles settle. Add the infused saffron next, gently mix and cover the pot again. Let the rice cook for 15-25 minutes (time depends on rice variety, read the package instructions),let cook till all the water is absorbed. Switch off the stove and let the cooked rice sit for 10 minutes.

 

  • While the rice is still warm, add the rose water and gently fluff with the help of a fork. Garnish with rose petals and extra saffron threads and serve.

 

Notes

1) To make vegan rice, use any neutral, unflavored oil

2) Read and use the water quantity indicated on the rice package for cooking.

March 31, 2020 — Zaran Saffron