Saffron Rice

Serves 5 as a side dish


Washing & Soaking Rice

  • 3 cups basmati (long-grain) rice
  • 6 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp salt


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • washed & drained rice
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pita bread round, split in half and ripped into large pieces

Saffron Mixture

  • ½ tsp of saffron threads
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp water


Prepare Saffron Mix

  1. Grind ½ tsp saffron threads in a coffee grinder with ½ tsp sugar (or use ½ tsp of pre-ground saffron). Mix in small bowl with 1 tbsp melted butter and 1 tbsp water and set aside

Wash & Cook Rice

  1. Put 3 cups of basmati rice in a large bowl.  Add enough warm water to cover the rice and wash gently by hand. Drain and repeat two more times.
  2. Transfer to a clean large bowl, add 6 cups of warm water to the rice and 1 tbsp of salt. Set aside for 1 hour
  3. Heat 6 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot with 1 tbsp of salt
  4. Drain the rice and transfer into the boiling water. Allow to cook uncovered for 6-8 minutes. Stir the rice once during this time


  1. Turn off the heat, remove rice from pot, and drain the cooking water
  2. Dry the pot with a paper towel before returning it to a low heat and adding vegetable oil
  3. Lay torn pita pieces in the bottom of the pot to cover. Transfer back the drained rice to finish cooking atop the bread and oil. (If one desires, one can add 1 tbsp of butter to the rice at this point)
  4. Cover with lid and steaming pad, or a lid lined with paper towels. Reduce heat to medium-low and let the rice cook 20-25 minutes.
  5. Once the rice is ready, turn off the stove and remove ½ cup of rice to a separate small bowl and combine with saffron mixture
  6. To serve, scoop rice onto a large platter. Garnish top of the mound with the remaining ½ cup of saffron rice. Place pieces of crisped pita from the bottom of the pot around the platter