Saffron Pilau

From Deborah Palmer of A Movable Feast

A heavenly feast of something yummy. 


  • 1 to 2 tsp saffron threads
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter OR one each oil and butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped or sliced
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 3/4 cups white long-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins or sultanas
  • 6 green cardamom pods, shells lightly cracked
  • 6 cloves
  • Salt and pepper

Toast saffron threads in a dry skillet, stirring over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until they give off aroma. Transfer immediately to a plate. Pour the boiling water into measuring cup. Stir in saffron and 1 tsp salt. Set aside for 30 minutes to infuse. Melt butter with oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring until softened. Lower heat. Stir in pine nuts. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring until golden brown. Take care not to burn. Stir in rice for about 1 minute, coating all grains with oil. Add raisins, cardamom, pods and cloves. Pour in the saffron-flavoured water and bring to a boil. Lower heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes without removing the lid. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes without uncovering. Remove lid and check that rice is tender, all the liquid has been absorbed and the surface has small indentations all over. Using a fork, fluff up the rice.

Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under rice & grain.