Monday, November 11, 2013

Saffron Rice | Saffron Pulao(Pulav) Recipe | Pulao Varieties

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saffron pulao
Saffron is the one of the most expensive spices available. It adds a delicate sweet fragrance to any recipe.It is my most favorite spice and so I ensure that I stock it in my pantry.Unlike other spices, we don't add saffron in large quantities;a tiny pinch of saffron is more than sufficient to make your dish fragrant and colorful.You can spoil a dish, if you add them in more quantity,so adding required portion is also equally important.
saffron pulav
Mostly Saffron is used in sweet varieties and some kind of rich pulaos and biryanis.You need to  crush them slightly and soak them in warm milk for sometime so that it can release its beautiful color and is then added to any kheer/biryani variety.Alternatively, you can crush them to a powder in mortar and pestle and add.I prefer to use the first option, as I like the look of beautiful saffron strands in my kheer/biryanis.
saffron pulav
Indian Cuisine has lots of Rice and Pulao varieties from various parts of the country.However I prefer the spicier versions or mildly spicy pulaos over the sweetened ones,but again it depends on the side dish you prefer.Saffron pulao is a similar version to Kashmiri Pulao but the former is the slightly spicier version where as the latter is mildly sweetened and loaded with dry fruits and sometimes fruits.
On our daily basis, we usually prefer mildly spiced Indian gravies to go with rotis or pulaos.Saffron Rice is mildly spiced and hence you can pair it with spicy or mildly spiced gravies and dal varieties like Mirchi Ka Salan , Mixed Vegetable Kurma, Matar Paneer, Paneer Makhani, Vegetables Makhani,  Dal FryDal Makhani, Rajma Masala and Creamy Lobia.
saffron pulao

Saffron Rice | Saffron Pulao(Pulav) Recipe:
Serves 2
Prep time:10 mins | Cooking time:30 mins | Total time:40 mins
Cuisine: Indian | Category: Rice | Pulav - Main Course

1 heaped cup Basmati Rice
12-15 Cashew nuts
8-10 Mint leaves(optional)
1/8 tsp Turmeric powder(optional)
12-15 Saffron strands
3/4" Cinnamon
3-4 Cloves
2-3 Green Cardamom
1-2 Bay leaves
1 tsp Shahi jeera (black cumin seeds)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Ghee
Caramelized onions,to garnish(optional)

  • Wash and soak basmati rice in water for 10 mins.Do not wash more than twice as it looses its fragrance. 
  • Crush the saffron strands slightly in hand and soak them in a tbsp of warm milk for 10-15 mins.
  • Heat oil and ghee in a thick kadai/pan(or cooker) and fry cashew nuts until they turn golden in color and remove them and keep aside.In the same oil add shahi jeera and let them crackle.
  • Add cloves,green cardamom,cinnamon and bay leaves and fry them for a minute.Slighly open the cardamom pods before adding so that they do not splutter.
  • Add drained basmati rice and turmeric powder and fry well for a couple of minutes until its dry,do this step carefully as the rice might get broken.
  • Add saffron strands soaked in milk to it.
  • Add 2 cups of water and let it come to a boil and add salt and mint leaves and cover it and let it simmer for 12-15 mins until done.If you are preparing it in cooker,pressure cook for 1 whistle and simmer it for 5-7 mins.
  • When the pressure drops,leave it for 10 mins and then gently fluff it up using a fork and add fried cashew  nuts and mix.
  • Garnish with fried onions(optional) and cashew nuts.
Serve it hot with any mild gravy like Paneer Makhani,Vegetables Makhani or dals like Dal Fry,Dal Makhani ,Creamy Lobia and raitha, papad. I served it with Matar Paneer.

saffron rice
  1. Mint leaves are optional in the recipe.I usually add it if I have them otherwise I ignore adding them.
  2. This is a mild spiced rice recipe which pairs well with any spicy curry.
  3. You can add vegetables like carrots,peas,potatoes,beans,capsicum and make vegetable pulao following the same recipe.
  4. The addition of ghee enhances the flavor of rice and pulaos,hence do not skip it.
  5. You can even add 1/2 cup milk and reduce the  water by 1/2 cup in the recipe.
  6. You can even add fried raisins for a slight sweet variation of this pulao.You can pair with rich gravies with Navratan Kurma,Paneer Butter Masala,Malai Kofta,Shahi paneer etc.
  7. To caramelize onions fry thinly sliced onions in a tbsp of oil or ghee for few mins.Add a tsp of sugar to it and fry until it turns golden brown in color.You can even deep fry onion slices until golden brown and crisp.
 saffron rice


saraniskitchen said...

simple one pot meal...lovely color...

Indian Khana said...

Yum it looks with that paneer and papad ....I like this too kind stuff

Divya N said...

This recipe is quite different from the saffron pulao that I make, but interesting. Also is it necessary to add turmeric when there is saffron? I somehow feel that turmeric changes the taste

chef and her kitchen said...

@Divya..Addition of turmeric is optional...If the saffron gives nice color to the pulao you don't need to add turmeric..

Janani said...

Tasty and flavorful rice.

Jeyashris Kitchen said...

Fantastic presentation prathiba. simple yet delicious puloa

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