Jeweled Saffron Rice

Jeweled Saffron Rice

This fragrant rice is the ultimate accompaniment to prawn curry, crayfish curry, roast leg of lamb and Saffron & Yoghurt Kebab. I love that it is studded with a variety of textures and flavours and its so colourful! This “side” dish will brighten up any main course.


  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • salt to taste
  • a few strands of saffron
  • handful of sultanas
  • handful of fried onion
  • generous bunch of coriander
  • pomegranate rubies
  • toasted nuts optional (cashews, pistachios, almonds)


  1. Boil the rice in salted water as per normal.
  2. While the rice is boiling, take saffron strands and heat for a few seconds in the microwave until crisp (30 seconds should be enough). Crush strands into a powder, you can use your fingers or a pestle and mortar. Add a little bit of water to saffron and allow to steep. The water should be enough to add to the rice to steam. Approx 100ml.
  3. Back to the rice! Once it’s almost fully cooked, drain excess water in a colander and rinse under cold water.
  4. Add the saffron liquid to the water and empty contents into an oven proof/microwavable container to steam.
  5. Once the rice is steaming, add some boiling water to the sultanas so they can soak and plump up.
  6. After the rice has steamed, add the soaked sultanas, fried onion, chopped coriander and toasted nuts.
  7. Garnish with pomegranate rubies and serve.


The nuts are optional. You can use one type or all three. I buy ready fried onion as its easier but you can make your own by frying onions in ghee or oil until caramelised. Make the rice ahead of time and add the garnishes before serving.