How to make Saffron Rice

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Making dishes, it remains the best thing to do in the world. Main courses and desserts for example Creme Brulee can take a long time to make. To help you, we have prepared an easy side dish for you. You can use this side dish to impress your family and friends. In this article we describe how you can make saffron rice!

What is Saffron

Maybe you have heard about the name. Saffron is one of the most, possible the most expensive spice in the world. The price for a kilo of saffron is around the €10.000 or $11.798 dollar. People are using Saffron for flavoring food. Saffron threads come from flowers, also called the saffron crocus. The bulbs will be placed in September, with cultivation mainly in Morocco, Spain and Greece. Six months after placement, the flowers have fully blossomed and are ready to be picked. The flowers are picked before the sun comes up. It takes a worker 40 hours to pick 1 kilo of saffron. The worker needs 160,000 flowers to get 1 kilo of saffron.

Each flower contains 3 saffron threads, these saffron threads are removed from the flower. The next step is to dry the wires in hot rooms for 12 hours. After the 12 hours the saffron can be sold.

Quality of Saffron

Saffron has a deep red color a very light threads. When you add the saffron to your food it creates a yellow color. The problem with saffron is the high price. When products have an high price there will be a lot of fake on the market. Its a cheaper product for the same price. The problem is its very hard to distinguish the real from the fake ones. With saffron the redder the threads how better the quality. It must be real saffron of course.

There is an option to test if you have purchased the real deal: take a white piece of paper and a thread of saffron. Make the saffron wet and rub it on the piece of paper. The piece of paper needs to have a yellow color. If the color is not yellow or there is no color at all you know you have purchased something like saffron. In reality its a cheaper alternative.

How to Use Saffron

You probably want to know what saffron actually tastes like. This is quite difficult to explain. The taste is quite complex. It’s slightly on the sweet side, but very aromatic. When you ask people what flavor it comes close to, they often mention honey. Saffron therefore colors rice yellow. The dish paella contains also saffron. It owes its color to the saffron. The Middle East and Indian Kitchen is using this ingredient a lot. Saffron is so strong that you only need very little of it. If you want to use saffron, the tip is to first soak the threads in cold water. By doing this your dish tasted better. It’s time to tell you how to make Saffron rice!

Interested in buying Saffron and you living in the Netherlands? You can buy it here!


how to make saffron rice

Saffron Rice

Saffron Rice is the perfect side dish! The recipe is really easy and will takes only 30 minutes of your time. Make sure you buy real Saffron!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Arabic
Servings 4 Persons
Calories 323 kcal


  • Large pot
  • Grinder


  • 260 grams Basmati Rice (White)
  • 700 ml Stock Can be chicken or vegetable
  • 2 Onions
  • 24 ml Olive Oil
  • 10 grams Salt
  • 2 grams Saffron


  • The first step is to buy good saffron. You need 1/4 tablespoon of saffron. And to get the best result you take the half of the tablespoon saffron threads. Grind the saffron like you do to make pesto.
  • Put the other half of the saffron in the grinder, but don’t grind this half. Poor 200 ml of hot water in the mortar. Let the water rest for at least 5 minutes.
  • Take a large pot from your kitchen and make sure the heat is at medium level. Add the olive oil when the pot is getting hot together with the minced onion. Start stirring the onions. When the onions are soft and getting a little bit of color it's time for the next step.
  • Add the rice to the pot and keep stirring for 2 minutes.
  • After the 2 minutes add the saffron to the rice.
  • The next step is to add the stock and the salt. Make sure the heat is high at this moment. The stock needs to boil for 1 minute.
  • After one minute you can reduce the heat to low. And let the rice cook for another 20-25 minutes. Make sure the pot is covered during the slow cooking.
  • After 20-25 minutes you can turn off the heat. And wait for 5 minutes.
  • After the 5 minutes make sure to stir the rice and you are ready to serve this amazing side dish!


Calories: 323kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 5gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1675mgPotassium: 155mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 373IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Saffron Rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


FAQ Saffron Rice

Below you can find the most frequently asked questions about Saffron rice:

What is Saffron Rice?

The name says it all, it is literally rice with saffron. It will be the best rice you ever taste!

How much Saffron do I need?

You need 1/4 tablespoon of saffron. Make sure you have ”real” saffron.


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