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Saffron Pilau

Saffron Pilau

Serves: 8


  • 400g basmati rice wash and drain 
  • 1 pinch saffron 
  • 1 litre boiling water 
  • 3 cloves 
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick 
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1 pinch chilli flakes 
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil 
  • 2 onions, chopped – plus an extra 3 onions sliced, for frying for garnish 
  • pinch salt 
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander


  1. Preheat the oven 190C. 
  2. Wash the basmati rice and leave to drain in a sieve. 
  3. Put the saffron in a small bowl and take 2 tbsps of the boiling water and pour it over the saffron and leave to sit for 10 minutes. 
  4. Dry fry the spices for a minute until fragrant, decant into a bowl. 
  5. In a large frying pan, fry the onion in the sunflower oil until golden brown. 
  6. In a deep metal roasting tray mix together the rice, chopped fried onion with the spices and salt. 
  7. Pour the boiling water and saffron water over the rice. 
  8. Cover the tray tightly with foil and put into the oven for 30-40 minutes. 
  9. Fry the sliced onion until golden brown for the topping. 
  10. Check the rice is cooked and all the water has been absorbed.
  11. Put into a serving bowl and mix through the fresh coriander. 
  12. Top with extra crispy fried onions for garnish.