Sweet Persian Saffron Rice

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Rice… I Can Never Get Enough Of It!

You wouldn’t think a simple seed from the grass family, such as the humble rice would become such a widely consumed staple all over the world.

Eaten as a side, main and even dessert, pretty much anything you can think of, it probably can go or be made with rice.

Coming from a Chinese back ground, rice was a daily staple of mine and still to this day, with so many different ingredients to go to, rice is always the one I crave every day.

Growing up

Rice has always been a cheap filling ingredient that really puts satisfaction in my belly. Handy when you have a hungry family of 6 children…

From congee (a rice porridge), fragrant warm parcels of glutenous rice drizzled with palm sugar, paper thin rice noodles in soup or stir fry to plain rice with some Chinese broccoli and soy sauce. No day was the same when it came to rice dishes.

Before being a plant eater, I was a egg cooked on the sunny side with a big slab of fried spam on rice… Yes, you heard me right… Oh how thankful I am to have found other ways to enjoy rice that still gives me that full belly satisfaction…

With so many varieties of rice and way to use it , there is nothing you can’t make with rice,  hence why I can never get enough  of it…

And as I’ve grown older, I’m discovering more and more ways to use rice, so this time I’m going middle eastern with this sweet Persian saffron rice that is sure to be a winner to a satisfying spice road meatless eat.

The bright golden fluffy rice, mixed with fragrant spices, together with the subtle sweetness of the caramelised onion and cranberries makes this dish a great accompany to a Middle East tasting buddha bowls, curries, falafels and simply wonderful by itself. Sure beats plain rice & spam…lol

Not to mention it takes less than an hr to cook, so do try your hands on some home style Persian rice cooking.

Di x


Sweet Persian Saffron Rice

This sweet Persian saffron rice will sure be a winner to any side dish to your Buddha bowls, curries, falafels or as is for a satisfying main meal. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 506 kcal


  • 2 cups basmati rice soaked for a min 1 hr
  • 1 tsp saffron strand
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup pistachio roasted
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 brown onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tbs dried cranberries
  • 4 tbs vegetable stock


  1. In a small bowl mix saffron strands with hot water and let saffron to infuse for 5 min

  2. In a small pan, add pistachio, almonds and spices and gently toast till fragrant roughly 2 min

  3. In a frying pan, add oil, and saute the onion & garlic till translucent

  4. Then add cranberries, toasted spice and pistachio to the onion. Mixing for about 2 min then set aside

To prepare rice

  1. Place soaked rice into a large pot with 6 cups of water and bring to the boil. Let rice cook till al dent and remove from heat. roughly 5 min

  2. Drain rice and put 1 tbs of olive oil in the pot and return drained rice back into oiled pot

  3. Then add the onion mixture, saffron mixture and gently combine all the ingredients together

  4. Season with a little salt and pepper, then put lid over pot and let rice continue to steam and fluff up.

  5. Serve with a sprinkle of toasted slivered almond, pistachio, and chopped continental parsley

Recipe Notes

The longer you soak your rice, the better and softer your rice will be.

Due to the soft nature of the soaked rice, when draining, do not squeeze rice as they will break and crumble. Just drain and put them in pot with water for cooking.

In traditional Persian rice cooking, a tea towel is placed over the pot and then the lid on top to help with the steaming process but I found the rice cooked just fine without it.

If rice is still too hard, add a tablespoon of water to help soften it and simmer on low heat for another 5 min or until soften.

*Nutrition information is approximate and is meant as a guide only*

Nutrition Facts
Sweet Persian Saffron Rice
Amount Per Serving (340 g)
Calories 506 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 69mg3%
Potassium 346mg10%
Carbohydrates 89g30%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 370IU7%
Vitamin C 3.3mg4%
Calcium 79mg8%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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