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Sweet Saffron Pilaf with Currants and Nuts

June 29th, 2007 | 10 Comments »


Sweet Saffron Pilaf with Nuts and Currants

1 ¼ c. basmati rice
2 ½ c. water
¼ t. saffron threads
1 T. milk or cream
1/8 c. canola oil or ghee
A 2-inch cinnamon stick
10 green cardamom pods, pounded in a bowl or pestle to open the shells
A 1-ince piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
¼ c. dried currants
¼ c. chopped roasted almonds
¼ c. pistachios, shelled and chopped
¼ c. sugar

Combine rice and water in medium bowl and soak for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving water, and set rice aside.
Gently crush saffron threads in small bowl with back of spoon. Stir in milk and mix gently. Set aside.
Combine oil or ghee, cinnamon stick, cardamom and ginger in medium, heavy bottom pan (with a cover) over medium high heat, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in currants and nuts and cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes. Add rice, stir to coat and cook for 1-3 minutes. Pour in reserved water, stir and bring to a high simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle rice evenly with sugar, then drizzle saffron/milk mix over the top. Cover pan again, and on very low heat, cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and allow rice to rest 10-15 minutes. Serve hot garnished with fresh toasted nuts if desired.

10 responses to “Sweet Saffron Pilaf with Currants and Nuts”

  1. suvir saran says:

    Hi Kate!

    we are now serving this rice dish at my restaurant in NYC, Devi.
    I serve it with a pesto stuffed chicken.
    People are loving it.
    You may have given me confidence to think that I can serve this homestyle dish to the public.


    The new cookbook has the recipe for the chicken.


  2. […] just found a delicious sweet saffron pilaf dish that Kate made over at Kate in the Kitchen.Save This Page on […]

  3. Jez says:

    This does look fantastic rice

  4. cooknkate says:

    Wow….my first response from a cookbook author I blogged about! How cool is that??

  5. Suvir Saran says:

    Hi Kate!
    Glad you appreciated the rice and also the photos.
    I went to school for design, so I should admit I too, like you, am very visual.
    Though, whilst I appreciate photos in cookbooks, nothing makes me more upset than bad recipes.
    Sadly, that is the case with many cookbooks written on the different global cuisines.
    And as a young man arriving in the US and nostalgic for honest Indian flavors, I was not served well by the food literature available in the US bookstores.
    That led me to cook and call India to chat with our chef and my mother and finally to teach and also make time to test and document.
    It is not easy, but totally worth it, especially when even one recipe can make another, such as yourself, get so much pleasure.
    What makes my efforts seem totally worthwhile also, is the appreciation I have received from my compatriots from the Indian Sub-Continent. Many have found a recipe or even a handful that have brought them back into their homes, many seas away, and that is just what prompted me to write in the first place – memories of home.

    Thanks for your kind praise, and thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for the recipe you speak about here and for the cuisine of my country.



  6. This pilaf sounds divine, Kate. In fact, I posted about a creamy saffron pasta dish and just added a link to your post.

  7. marty says:

    That looks delicious!

  8. Sarah says:

    Oh yum that looks wonderful!! I will definitely have to make it.

  9. Nice. With a little modification, you can make this into a full meal. Add some chicken thighs, you’ve got yourself a nice biryani!

  10. Pasha Plum says:

    Oh man, that looks scrumptious. I think I am off to the store for some ingredients and then to the library for that book! And yes, pictures can make me take the leap too.