Fragrant Saffron Rice

This rice is good with the recipe for Sweet Curry, and is adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's "A Taste of India" cookbook.

  • 4-5 saffron threads (or a tablespoon of it if it isn't somewhat fresh)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk or cream
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • Light cooking oil (probably no EVOO here)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • slivered almonds or whole cashews
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 2 pods cardamom

Optional: sautéed onions

Early in the afternoon, put four or five threads of saffron in 1/4 cup of warm milk and cover. Let it sit for 4 or 5 hours before cooking. The milk will turn orange. Wash rice, then let it soak in cold water for 20 minutes. Rinse it once more and let it drain thoroughly.

Melt butter in a wide skillet, and add cardamom, cinnamon and nuts. Cook for about 5 minutes at medium heat. Add the rice, a cup of water, and the milk-saffron mixture. Not right away, but before all the water is absorbed, add sugar, raisins and, if you like, sautéed onion. Cook the whole thing for about 15 minutes, but do not let the bottom turn brown. Pull out the cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods if you can find them before serving.