Saffron Yellow Rice

by Renee on January 18, 2013

Saffron Yellow Rice | Magnolia Days

Rice is pretty much found all over the world. There are lots of varieties and one of the most common is long grain white rice. Plain old white rice. Plain certainly describes it for sure. It is the type of rice I grew up with and I could go the rest of my life without having it again. That is, until I discovered how to make it awesome. Saffron yellow rice changed it all for me.

Saffron is one of those luxury spices. I believe it is the most expensive spice per weight. The good news is a little goes a long way. It packs a flavor punch. Only a pinch is needed. I recently found some for an excellent price at HomeGoods. I was not going to let it sit in my pantry and get old. So when I made Ropa Vieja for the first time I did not want to use store-bought yellow rice. Luckily where I found the recipe for Ropa Vieja there was an accompanying recipe for yellow rice using saffron. Score!

My saffron yellow rice has a lovely light color. A lot of yellow rice has a deeper color. I think it is because turmeric is used. I only used the additional spice of cumin for flavor. There was a lot of flavors going on in the Ropa Vieja and I didn’t want to add any more to the mix. As far as flavor goes, all I can say is that I could eat this rice all by itself. So simple and so good. I was plowing it down by the heaping spoonfuls. I did that when I made it, the next day, and the day after.

How often do you cook rice? It is usually a once a week side dish for me. That might change after having saffron yellow rice. I’m thinking rice will make an appearance on my table more often.

Saffron Yellow Rice

Saffron Yellow Rice

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads (A big pinch)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, add olive oil, saffron, and cumin. Over medium heat cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes until oil is hot but not smoking. Add rice and stir until rice is coated well, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered and without stirring until the water is below the surface of the rice, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let rice stand for 15 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork. Serve and enjoy.

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Recipe adapted from one on the Epicurious website.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula @ Vintage Kitchen January 18, 2013 at 5:52 am

I agree with you, and love using saffron in baking too. Just the color lifts the spirits! Have a great weekend Renee!

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Renee January 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Thanks Paula and I hope your weekend is fabulous too!

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Tasha Zee January 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

I have some saffron I have been dying to use, will give this a try.

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Lyn @LovelyPantry January 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Just when I thought rice was getting boring…saffron to the rescue! Your post reminded me that I have some saffron that I have yet to use. This rice has a beautiful colour, Renee.

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Renee January 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Thank you Lyn! No boring rice when there is saffron and cumin. I love the flavor combination and the color it gives to the rice.

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Anita at Hungry Couple January 19, 2013 at 12:39 am

Amazingly, I have never had saffron. But now I’m very curious.

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Renee January 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm

What? Never had saffron? You must remedy that situation asap.

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The Ninja Baker January 19, 2013 at 1:06 am

Sticky white Japanese rice with pickled plum is at least a 2x a week treat. But your beautiful saffron rice may become a habit, too!

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Renee January 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Thanks Kim. I want to learn how to make sticky rice. I love it when I have it a Thai restaurants. So cool how you can roll it up into a ball and dip it in your sauce.

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Laura @ Family Spice January 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Rice is a staple dish in our house. Nothing makes my family smile more then the smell of saffron and basmati rice cooking!

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Renee January 22, 2013 at 10:57 am

Oh, basmati rice. I’ll have to try this recipe with it too.

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Angie @ Big Bear's Wife January 22, 2013 at 11:36 am

the only saffron rice I’ve ever made at home has been from a package. I’ve stayed away from it because of the price of saffron, but now that you mention it I think I saw a small bottle of saffron for sale at Marshalls. I need to go back and check! Looks so good!

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Renee January 22, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I hope you do go and get the saffron. You will love cooking with it. The flavor and color from it are so wonderful.

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