Sublime Saffron Rice with Cardamom

saffron rice

The simplicity and elegance of basmati rice is clearly understated as evidenced by this lovely rice dish that will surely be a staple in my kitchen now. Simmered with cardamom and cloves and seasoned with delicate saffron threads, this fragrant and delicious rice pairs perfectly with hot legume curries, adding a mellow touch to the meal but shining all by itself. This dish speaks to the palate and was served with black-eyed peas with potatoes and tamarind and a lovely and refreshing avocado salad. Nothing else needs to be said.

  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2/3 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream, milk, yogurt or coconut milk
  • Thoroughly rinse the rice in a strainer under cold running water. Transfer to a medium bowl, add 2 cups of water, and let soak for 30 - 60 minutes. Drain the rice, reserving the soaking liquid, and let air dry for 15 - 20 minutes.
  • Add the water, rice, cardamom, cloves and turmeric to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking, combine the saffron and cream, milk, yogurt or coconut milk and salt in a small saucepan and gently heat. After the cooked rice has sat for a few minutes, fluff with a fork and then stir in the saffron mixture. Let the rice stand for another 5 minutes and serve hot.