Saffron (zafrani) rice
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Saffron rice (Gujarati zafrani rice)

A simple yet elegant rice perfect for a special occasion.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Optional soaking time30 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Mina Joshi


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tbsp butter or vegan substitute like Vitalite
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch Saffron
  • 2-4 curry leaves


  • Wash the rice in cold water gently changing water several times until the water appears clear and soak it for at least 30 minutes. The longer it is soaked the better it cooks.
  • After soaking, fill a large saucepan with water and heat the water until the water is boiling. Lower the heat. Drain the rice and add it to the boiling water. Add the salt and cardamom pods and curry leaves. Allow the rice to cook for 5 -7 minutes. Don’t stir the rice repeatedly as the rice grains will break and make the rice mushy
  • Whilst the rice is cooking soak the saffron in 2 tablespoons of warm water (you can also use milk to soak the saffron).
  • Watch the rice. As soon as it looks cooked (almost al dent– add some cold water to the rice and drain it using a colander. Transfer the rice to a microwave proof dish.
  • In a clean saucepan, heat the butter and add the cinnamon sticks (can also use 2-3 cloveto the butter.
  • Pour the butter or vegan substitute over the rice. Also also add the saffron with the water/milk to the rice.
  • Cover the dish and cook it for 2 minutes in the microwave. (It’s up to you whether you wish to leave the curry leaves, cardamom and cinnamon in the rice whilst serving)


  • You can also add peas whilst cooking the rice.
  • Try garnishing the rice with a few cashew nuts to make it look even fancier.
  • Serve this rice with any delicious curry.