Saffron & Lemon Rice

Serves 4

Saffron & Lemon Rice recipe – The Artisan Food rail

This gorgeous golden rice is zesty and fragrant and complements a variety of curries — we particularly enjoy it with a mild and creamy korma.

Basmati rice produces the best results as opposed to standard long grain rice as it has a superior and more nutty flavour.

To keep the grains perfectly separate and fluffy it is important to rinse the rice thoroughly to remove excess starch. Also, avoid stirring once the water is added and don’t be tempted to remove the lid before the cooking time is up.


  • 250g basmati rice
  • knob (approx 15g) butter
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • generous pinch saffron strands
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 450ml boiling water
  • grated zest of 1 lemon


Place the rice in a sieve and rinse well under cold running water until the water runs clear. Place rice in the sieve over a bowl to drain thoroughly.

Heat the butter in a large lidded pan and add the cardamon pods and crumble in the saffron strands and cook over a gentle heat for about 30 seconds. Then stir in the turmeric followed by the rice. Stir to mix and then add the water and bring to the boil. Turn down to the lowest heat and put the lid on. Leave the rice to cook for 10-12 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat.

Fold the lemon zest gently into the rice using a fork to fluff up the grains. You can add salt at this stage if you wish.

Replace the lid and let the rice stand for a further 5 minutes off the heat before serving.

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