Saffron Rice with Pine Nuts & Currants


Sometimes a little jazzed-up rice goes better with a meal than plain white rice – especially if there’s no fancy sauce with the entree.

Here’s a tasty rice side dish with Arabic flavors that pairs nicely with baked chicken or fish. It has an elegant presentation, so it’s perfect for serving when you’ve got guests.

Saffron Rice with Pine Nuts & Currants


  • ½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Half a yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 c. uncooked white rice
  • 1 tsp saffron, soaked 15 minutes in hot water
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 c. currants or golden raisins
  • 3.5 c. water or chicken broth
  • zest from 1 orange

In a medium-sized saucepan, sauté the pine nuts in a dash of olive oil until lightly browned. Set aside.

Add the butter and oil to the saucepan. When the butter is melted but not browned, add the chopped onions. Sauté until translucent but not browned. Add in the rice, saffron, garam masala, and salt, and sauté briefly to activate seasonings. Mix in currants. When throughly blended, add water and bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

When rice is tender and cooked, add in orange zest and adjust salt if necessary. Serve warm.

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