Caramelised Sweet Saffron Rice

Serves: 4 people

Difficulty: Easy

There is nothing in this recipe that I don’t love – caramelised onions, sweet dried fruit and the royal spice saffron. Perfect with anything!


  • 250g basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 4 cloves
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • really good pinch of quality saffron
  • good pinch of salt
  • small handful of dried fruit, I like cranberries, apricots and raisins
  • fresh coriander, for sprinkling


1. Wash the rice in several changes of water and then leave to soak in a large bowl of cold water for around 30 minutes if you have time.

2. Gently heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onions with the cloves, green cardamom, cinnamon and cumin seeds for around 10 minutes until the onions are golden brown and caramelised.

3. Strain the rice and stir into the pan with around ½ litre of boiling water.

4. Stir through the saffron and salt and bring to the boil. The rice will have changed colour to a beautiful sunshine yellow and most of the water should have been absorbed after around 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir through the dried fruit and pop a lid on and allow the rice to steam for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

5. Taste and check the rice is cooked through and fluffy before serving it with a generous sprinkling of coriander.

Aakanksha Soni| November 4, 2014 at 7:10 pm

What a tempting dish. Perfect for the festive season.

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