How to Cook Saffron Rice

fluffy saffron rice

Make fluffy Indian-Style Saffron Rice in just 20 minutes! This aromatic basmati rice has an easy technique to getting perfectly cooked yellow rice with bloomed saffron. It's a great side dish to serve with kebabs, butter chicken, and so much more.

total time : 20 mins


– cup basmati rice – 1 tablespoon ghee, or neutral oil – 2 cups water, (+ 2 tablespoon boiling hot water) – 1 cinnamon stick – 1 bay leaf – 2-3 cloves – 2 green cardamom pods – 8-9 strands saffron


Wash the rice! Place the rice in a large bowl and fill it with room temperature water. Give the rice a solid swirl with your hand, rubbing the grains to remove the starch. The water will be cloudy. Drain the water, and continue to rinse the rice (3-4 times) until the water runs clear.


Heat a pot on medium to high heat. Melt the ghee or add the neutral oil. Once hot, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaf, and cardamom pods. Allow the spices to bloom for one minute.


Pour the washed rice into the pot and mix everything together. Allow the rice to toast for 2-3 minutes, mixing frequently.


Pour in the 1.5 - 2 cups of water into the pot. Bring the water up to a boil. Then, turn the stove temperature down to low and cover the pot with a lid. Cook the rice for 8-10 minutes. Do not disturb or stir the rice.


Turn off the stove once the water has been fully absorbed. Let the rice rest for 5 minutes to finish steaming with the lid on. After 5 minutes, uncover the rice and use a fork to fluff it up.


Pour the bloomed saffron all over the rice.


Stir it together until the rice is evenly covered.

Keep it covered until it's ready to serve.