Saffron & Lemon Infused Basmati Rice Recipe
Perfumed with saffron and lemon zest, this alluring golden yellow rice goes beautifully with curries and warm-spiced dishes.
Servings Prep Time
8 10minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45minutes 10minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 10minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45minutes 10minutes
  • 1/4tsp saffron threads
  • 2tbls hot water
  • 1/2cup white or yellow onionfinely diced
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • 2cups brown basmati ricerinsed and drained
  • 31/2cups hot water
  • 1/4tsp saffron threadsplace in a small bowl with 3 tbls of hot water (optional just before serving)
  • Juice of one lemon(optional just before serving)
  1. In a small bowl, put the saffron in with the 2 tbls of hot water and set aside.
  2. Heat the pan to medium-high. Test the pan heat by putting a few onion pieces. The pan is ready if you hear a sizzle, the color changes quickly and the onions will jump about the pan.
  3. Put the onions in the pan and let cook a few minutes until they start to become translucent (3–5 minutes).
  4. Add the zest from the lemons and stir with the onions, and cook a little more (about 1–2 minutes). You can zest the lemons right into the pan while the onions are cooking. This way the essential oils that spray as you zest will flavor your rice dish instead of your cutting board.
  5. Add the saffron water and stir. If not all comes out, when you get to step 7, add some of the hot water to bowl and pour into the rice.
  6. Stir in the drained rice and coat with the onion lemon and saffron.
  7. Pour in the hot water and bring up to a boil.
  8. Place the lid on and set a timer for 10 minutes. It should be on medium-high heat to boil. As noted above if the lid isn’t tight fitting, add foil around the outside or a wet towel between the pan and the lid folded on top of the pan away from the burner.
  9. After 10 minutes, turn the burner down to low and let simmer for another 35 minutes.
  10. Once the 35 minute timer goes off, remove from burner and let rest with the lid in place for at least 10 minutes and up to 20 minutes.
  11. Once it has rested you can remove the lid and fluff the rice up gently with a fork. A fork as opposed to other utensils helps keep the rice grains separate without breaking the grains or clumping the grains together.
  12. In a small bowl add the optional saffron and hot water and let soak while rice is resting. Plate the rice on a single family style plate or individual plates and drizzle the saffron water and lemon juice over the rice.