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Zafrani Pulao


450 gm (2 cups) basmati rice
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons ghee
1/2 teaspoon black cumin seeds
1 inch stick cinnamon
1-2 black cardamoms
2-3 cloves
bay leaf
saffron strands
50 gm (1/2 cup) slivered almonds
25 gm green raisins or sultanas
about 750 ml (3 cups) water
1 teaspoon salt

  • Soak saffron in one tablespoon of warm water for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile rinse rice and soak in fresh water for 30 minutes in a pan.
  • Heat ghee in a heavy saucepan. Slice onion thin and add onion and all the spices except saffron to the hot ghee. Stir-fry until the onion turns golden brown.
  • Add almonds, raisins and well-drained rice and stir-fry for a further 5 minutes.
  • Pour water into the rice, It should be just the right quantity - one inch above the rice level.
  • Add the salt and saffron, stir well and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover the pan tightly and cook on slow fire for about 20 minutes until the rice is tender and fluffy and the water is absorbed. Fluff up the rice with a fork and serve immediately.

Wazwan chicken


4 chicken breasts
saffron strands
1 tbsp of ghee
½ tsp of coriander
2 bay leaves
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 1/2 tbsp of sultanas
2 cups of yoghurt
2 tbsp of sliced almonds, toasted
Salt and pepper
2 finely chopped onions

  • Soak saffron in a cup of hot water and allow twenty minutes for the flavour and colour to infuse.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a pan, add the chicken pieces and brown on both sides and remove.
  • Add the chopped onion to the oil and fry until soft.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the coriander, bay leaf, cinnamon, sultanas. Cook for a minute and stir once. Add the saffron water all at once.
  • Return the chicken to the pan. Cover and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.
  • Gently stir the yoghurt into the sauce and cook it for further 5 minutes.
  • Discard the cinnamon and bay leaf. Serve with pilau rice, garnished with toasted almonds.

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