Saffron Almond Rice Pilaf

When I came across this Saffaron Almond Rice Pilaf recipe years back, I discovered so many firsts:

  • First time I bought saffaron and found out that a tiny pinch of saffaron costs a bomb!
  • First time I discovered that the Jasmine rice I grew up with have a cousin called Basmati Rice
  • First time that I found out you can cook rice without a rice cooker!

Most important of all, I found out that if you follow this recipe to the T, you will be rewarded with a very light, fluffy, flavorful side dish that tastes so good, you can eat it on its own and be very satisfied. Oh, and this recipe is so easy, it’s the next easiest thing to cooking rice using a rice cooker! 😉


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • a pinch of saffaron threads
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted


  1. Bring the chicken broth and water to a slow boil  in a small sauce pan.
  2. Add the Saffaron threads. Cover and turn off heat.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a dutch oven over medium high heat and add the diced onion. Cook for about 8 minutes until the onions start to turn brown.
  4. Add the basmati rice and fry until it is fragrant and pale golden, about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the saffaron broth, salt, and ground pepper, bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and cook covered, until the rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 18 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
  8. Fluff rice with a fork and fold in almonds.

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