A pinch of saffron, sautéed onion & garlic, nutty basmati rice, and a touch of cayenne pepper, this yellow colored, flavorful rice is a great side dish.
I love how The Recipe ReDux challenges me every month to think outside the box a little and try something I would not normally try.
This month’s theme is A New Ingredient for the New Year: Pick a new ingredient that you’ve been wanting to try… and cook or bake up a new recipe in the new year. Are you curious about nutritional yeast, fish sauce, matcha, teff – or maybe even ugli fruit? Show us how you’re cooking with something new (to you!) in 2016.
Naturally, I went to the grocery store to find something I’ve never tried using in a recipe. I was at a loss. I couldn’t think of anything, so I walked 4 extra minutes to Whole Foods to check out their bulk bin aisle — my favorite aisle there because it’s usually the one with the most budget friendly options.
As I was walking through my options, I saw some Basmati Rice. I’ve heard of basmati rice, but what made it different? A quick google search gave me my answer that basmati rice is a longer & skinnier rice with a nuttier flavor than regular rice. Then I found a recipe for it using saffron. I’ve never used saffron in my cooking, and I have some in my spice cabinet! How perfect!
Well, how perfect until you don’t follow instructions and read the recipe wrong. Eek! No wonder all the chicken broth didn’t absorb… you’re supposed to use 2 cups of rice to 3 cups of broth, not 1 cup of rice to 3 cups of broth. Oops!
Either way, this turned out delicious even if it didn’t have the right consistency/texture/I can’t think of the right word here.
Ok, so I happen to really like the rice when it was cooked with a lot of broth. It made it seem more risotto-like and I loved that. However, feel free to follow the original instructions. The way I prepared it and the way it is pictured is how I decided to write my recipe. Wouldn’t want to give you different measurements than I used for my photo. That’d be rude!
Other than that teeny tiny mistake of using too much broth, the only real change I made from the original recipe was to use brown basmati rice instead of white.
A pinch of saffron, sautéed onion & garlic, nutty basmati rice, and a touch of cayenne pepper, this yellow colored, flavorful rice is a great side dish. After I ate the rice as pictured, I ended up stirring together all my leftovers & making a basmati rice, broccoli, and chicken bowl. Yum!! I heart leftovers.
If you’ve never tried saffron, you might notice that it’s expensive, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. You just need a pinch to get lots of flavor. Pair it with a less expensive ingredient, like rice, and you have a side dish winner!
Saffron Basmati Rice
What You'll Need:
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 onion about 1 1/2 cups, diced
- 1 clove garlic about 1 tsp, minced
- 1 cup brown basmati rice rinsed
- pinch of saffron about 6 strands
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups no salt added chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds optional
How to Make It:
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Sauté the onion in the oil for 5 minutes. Add in garlic, brown basmati rice, and saffron. Stir for about 2-3 minutes until you can smell the nuttiness of the brown basmati rice.
Stir in cayenne pepper, salt, and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 25-35 minutes, until most of the broth has absorbed. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with slivered almonds if using.