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Saffron Rice

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So easy! You are going to love this saffron rice recipe.

If you’re looking for a delicious saffron rice recipe, this simple steamed rice recipe could be just what you’re looking for. Saffron rice is the perfect accompaniment for almost any curry.

Safron Rice

What is saffron rice?

Saffron rice comes in many different forms. There are so many recipes for it but this is a good all-rounder that is perfect served as a side for pretty much any curry.

It’s visually appealing and flavoured not only with saffron but whole spices which really bring the dish together. In fact, you might find this saffron rice is so good, you can eat it as a meal with a few pickles or chutneys.

How to get this recipe right.

You really can’t go wrong with this saffron rice recipe. It’s so simple. You will be using my no-fail steamed rice recipe and it will be ready in less than an hour. 

There is very little actual work involved. You just let the seasoned rice steam which is great if you are preparing a curry or two to go with it. Just get your saffron rice on and let it steam. Then get on with whatever else you are cooking. 

How long will saffron rice keep in the fridge?

You can store this, covered in the fridge for at least 3 days. Heat it up in your microwave and it will be just like it was when you first cooked it.

Another way to heat it up is to fry it. When frying rice, it is important that it be added to the oil, cold from the fridge. Simply heat some oil in a pan or wok over a medium-high heat and stir in the rice.

Fry, stirring continuously until the rice is heated through.

Can you freeze this rice?

Yes! In fact it freezes really well. I recommend freezing it in portion sizes that are convenient for you and how many people you cook for.

Freeze the rice in freezer bags and then reheat in the microwave. Depending on how much rice you have in each bag, you can expect to need to heat it up for 3 to 5 minutes.

Step by step photographs

Ingredients for this saffron rice recipe

Get your ingredients together before starting. It’s easier that way.

Rice ready for steaming.

Add the soaked rice to a pot that has a tight-fitting lid. Stir in the whole spices, turmeric and butter and bring to a boil, covered, then turn off the heat. Let sit, covered for 40 minutes.

Saffron infusing into the hot milk.

Heat the milk until hand-hot. Then stir in the saffron and let sit while he rice is steaming.

Pouring saffron milk into the rice.

After 40 minutes, lift the lid and fluff it up with a fork. Don’t stir too vigorously or the rice will split. Stir the saffron milk in to coat.


Saffron rice

Enjoy with a curry or on its own.

Yield: 4

Indian Food Recipes - Cinnamon, Coconut And Saffron Rice

Saffron rice
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 400g (2 cups) Basmati rice, washed in three changes of water and soaked for 40 minutes
  • 750ml (3 cups) water or stock
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 x 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 blade mace
  • 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • A pinch (1 generous tsp) saffron soaked in a little warm milk
  • Juice of one lemon (optional)


  1. Wash the rice in a large bowl in several changes of water. At first, the water will look quite milky because of the startch from the rice. Wash it until the water remains almost clear. Allow the rice to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain and pour the soaked rice into a saucepan that has a tight fitting lid. Cover with the water or stock and add the whole spices, butter, salt and ground turmeric.
  3. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and leave for 40 minutes. Do not be tempted to lift the lid. Just let it sit and steam.
  4. Meanwhile, infuse the saffron in the hot milk. As the saffron soaks in the milk, the colour of the milk will become yellow.
  5. After the rice has been steaming for 40 minutes, remove the lid. Using a fork or chopstick, lightly stir the rice to fluff it up. Do not stir to vigorously or the rice will split and become mushy.
  6. As you stir, start pouring the saffron milk over the top until it's well combined and coating the rice.
  7. Taste and season with more salt, if needed and serve hot.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 510mgCarbohydrates: 301gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 31g

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I hope you enjoy this saffron rice recipe. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

June Hashim

Thursday 11th of April 2013

So Dan, what do you do with the teaspoonful of Nigella Seeds?

Wendy ross

Friday 2nd of February 2018

I was also wondering how much oil to use. Thanks

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