This fragrant rice with raisins and toasted nuts gets its beautiful golden colour from Persian saffron. One of the world’s most expensive spices, saffron has a deep flavour that isn’t found in American saffron also known as saffron (good for colour but adding no flavour).
4 to 6 tbsp toasted nuts (pistachios, pine nuts, almonds, your choice)
2 tbsp butter or olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup basmati rice
1 ¼ cups water
2 tbsp golden or green raisins
1 tsp honey (see notes)
1/2 tsp salt (less or more to taste)
1/2 tsp saffron threads
4 cardamom pods lightly crushed (if you have them)
- In a medium fry pan, toast the nuts until golden brown, shaking and stirring often so they don’t burn. Pour them onto a heat-safe plate or bowl and allow them to cool completely. When cooled, coarsely chop them.
- To the hot pan, add the butter and onion and stir cook until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir cook another minute or two to lightly toast the rice.
- Add the water (careful – it will steam voraciously), raisins, honey, salt, saffron (crush the threads in the palm of your hand with your thumb before adding them) and cardamom pods (if you have).
- Reduce heat to low immediately and cover. Simmer until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir it a couple of times while cooking.
- Remove the rice from the heat, fluff gently with a fork and cover again, letting it stand covered at least 10 minutes and up to 30.
- Adjust seasoning to your taste, then stir in half of the toasted nuts. Plate and garnish with remaining nuts.
- Substitute the plain honey and cardamom pods with Beary Berry Chai Honey, which has cardamom and other eastern spices which would be delicious in this.
- Or, try one of these Beary Berry Honeys: Cinnamon, Ginger, Lemon or Licorice for a subtle hint of spice.