Monday, August 27, 2012

Saffron Rice with Almonds

A pinch or two of saffron provides subtle flavor and color to Basmati rice in this simple but elegant dish. I used only 5 or 6 saffron threads (one pinch) for a very pale yellow color, but if you want a deeper, sunnier yellow simply add a few more threads. The almonds provide a pleasant crunch and toasting them enhances their buttery flavor.

To make this recipe vegan, simply substitute oil for the ghee or butter.  And you can certainly double the recipe to make more--mine makes about 4 servings. If you don't have basmati rice, use regular white rice. I don't recommend substituting brown rice because its more robust flavor will overwhelm the saffron. My saffron rice with almonds is an excellent side dish for Indian or Middle Eastern meals--I recently served it with Kuwaiti Okra and Tomatoes. If you end up with a "crust" on the bottom of the pan, that is a good thing and is prized in certain cultures for its crunch and toasty flavor.

Served with Kuwaiti Okra & Tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 Tbs ghee (Indian clarified butter), butter or vegetable oil
1 to 2 pinches saffron threads
1 cup Basmati rice
1 1/2 cups water
Optional: Salt to taste (I don't add salt)

Place the almonds in a small dry skillet over low-medium heat and toast, stirring regularly, until light golden brown and fragrant. Note: It will take a few minutes before the almonds start changing color, but once they begin to turn, they can quickly burn so keep an eye on them. Once toasted, remove from heat and set aside.

Melt the ghee or heat the oil in a medium saucepan or small pot on medium-high heat. Add rice and stir-fry for a couple of minutes, until all the grains are coated and the rice becomes aromatic.  Add water, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, cover and cook for 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes, remove from heat, still covered to allow the rice to "steam" for 5 minutes. Uncover and stir. Taste and add salt if desired. To serve, either stir in most of the toasted almonds and sprinkle the rest on top of the served rice, OR serve the rice and then sprinkle all the almonds on top.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company, Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment