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–+ servings

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.