Every year us kids get a large variety of amazing (and occasionally weird) goods in our Christmas stockings, including paperclips, nail buffers, and a personal favorite, purple tights. Last year my mom gave me a few fun ingredients that I took as a personal challenge: find something cool to make with them that is also delicious. These ingredients included lemon champagne vinegar and red wine vinegar (yum on both counts) and saffron threads.
I found a recipe for saffron rice in my favorite Indian food cookbook, and couldn’t wait to try it out. Instead of using Basmati or Patna rice, I used brown rice because you all know I’m-a tryin’ to be a little more healthy. The rice switch was not noticeable to anyone who tried it, so I managed to sneak another one in under the radar! Score.
I served this rice with a chicken cauliflower curry (oh, the alliteration!) and Fritz and his friend Jun Oh chowed down while watching the Grand Prix and Jenny and I used it as an energy booster before we headed to the mall for some Christmas shopping. Oh–and did I mention that we saw Harry Potter VII.1 yesterday morning? I loved it–but now I can’t wait for the second installment. Really really can’t wait.
Don’t judge me.
Instead, make some rice!
Saffron Rice (adapted from Complete Indian Cooking)
- 1/2 t saffron threads
- 3 C boiling water
- 1 T canola oil
- 2 small onions, diced
- 1 1/2 C brown rice
- 1 t ground cloves
- 1/2 t ground cardamom
- 1/2 t salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Put the saffron threads in a small bowl with 1 T boiling water and set aside for 30 minutes to soak.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan, and put in the onions. Cook for four to five minutes until softened. Wash and drain the rice, and add it to the pot, stirring in the cloves, cardamom, salt and pepper. Fry for three minutes, stirring often.
Pour the remaining boiling water into the pan along with the saffron threads and their soaking liquid. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked. Traditionally, the rice can be served with varq, an edible silver leaf.
I didn’t have that on hand.
This is a beautiful yellow color and taste great on its own as a side dish, and would be amazing with grilled veggies as the main dish.
Now, cooking can be very dangerous from time to time (I have the scars to prove it), but I’ve found that the best way to stay safe is to have your cat be a lookout:
Nothing gets past this guy. He is diligent, dedicated, and determined.
I love alliteration.