Monday, November 30, 2015

Arabic Saffron Rice

I absolutely love saffron rice. I have so many memories of my grandmother making this dish every holiday. I would eat plate fulls of it at a time. She was an incredible cook and estimated all her recipe measurements by hand. Unfortunately, her recipes are often difficult to recreate (at least for those of us who are amateur cooks) because she rarely wrote down her recipes. My dad was on a mission though to make saffron rice for thanksgiving, and it turned out pretty darn good. I liked it so much that I decided to share it with all of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

  • 1 box of saffron (usually comes in 1 gram or .03 ounce boxes)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt
  • 4 cups basmati rice
  • 5 cups chicken broth 
  • Slivered almonds
  • Raisins  
  • Olive oil
  • Place saffron in a pestle and mortar. Add a pinch of sugar. Grind until the saffron is in powder form (or grind it as fine as you can). 
  • Pour saffron mixture into a mug, add 1 cup of hot water, cover, and let it sit for approximately 20 minutes until you see the dark rich saffaron color.
  • Rinse the rice thoroughly with water to remove any excess starch.
  • Soak the rice with plenty of water for about 30 minutes.
  • Drain the water.
  • Add the soaked rice to the pot.
  • Add the liquid to the pot with the rice: 1 cup of the saffron water and 5 cups of chicken broth. 
  • Bring to a boil under medium-high heat, uncovered.
  • When it starts boiling, cover and lower the heat to low.
  • Keep the top of the pot on at all times, but stir the rice occasionally to make sure you have enough liquid. If you don't, add more liquid as needed. 
  • After fifteen minutes, take the lid off. If there is any excess water, allow it to boil off. Fluff with a fork.
  • Place about two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and add slivered almonds. Fry the slivered almond at low temperature. Once they start browning, take it off the stove top. Repeat with raisins. 
  • Add salt as needed. 
  • Serve the rice garnished with almonds and raisins. 

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