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Indian Sweet Saffron Rice With Raisins and Pistachios

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“A Vedic recipe (meetha kesari bhat) adapted from the cookbook The Best of Lord Krishna's Cuisine by Yamuna Devi. Although not considered Vedic, I add onion to the rice. Very sweet dish meant to be served to soothe the palate when eating more fiery Indian dishes. The sweetener jaggery or gur can be found in many Asian markets.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring water to boil in saucepan. Place the saffron threads in a small bowl and add 2 1/2 tablespoons of the boiling water and soak the threads for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, add the basmati rice, cinnamon stick, cloves and salt to the saucepan of boiling water. Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and let sit with cover on for 5 minutes.
  3. Optional: In small pan, lightly saute onion in oil and set aside.
  4. Next combine the saffron water (strain the water through a small sieve to remove threads), sweetener and cardamom seeds in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir until the sweetener is dissolved. Lower heat and simmer 1 minute. Pour the syrup over the rice (and stir in onions if using) then re-cover pan.
  5. Heat the ghee or oil in small pan over medium-low heat until warm but not smoking. Fry the nuts and raisins until nuts are golden brown and the raisins swell. Stir the raisins, nuts and oil into the hot cooked rice and gently fluff with fork. Remove cinnamon stick and cloves. Spoon rice onto a serving platter and garnish with toasted nuts if desired.

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