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Zafrani Pulao/ Indian Saffron Pulao

Zafrani Pulao/ Indian Saffron Rice

Aromatic and Flavored with
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Rice Soaking Time 30 mins
Course Main
Cuisine Awadhi Cuisine, Indian
Servings 4


  • Heavy bottomed Pan


  • 2 Cups Basmati Rice
  • 1 Cup Thinly sliced Onions prefer red onions
  • 10-12 Saffron Strands
  • ½ Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Mixed Nuts like Almonds, Cashew Nuts and Raisins
  • 1/4 Cup Ghee
  • Salt as required

Whole Spices

  • 1-2 Bay Leaves
  • 4-5 Cloves
  • 4-5 Black Pepper
  • 1 Cinnamon stick(small)
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 4-5 Green Cardamoms


  • Wash Rice in running tap water 2-3 times.
  • Then soak it in enough water for about 2-30 mins.

Make Saffron milk

  • In lukewarm milk ad saffron stands and let it stand till we use it in milk. Prepare this also about 30 mins, ahead of making Pulao.

Prepare Barista Onions

  • Heat ghee/oil in kadhai or heavy bottomed pan, add onions and fry on medium heat. Keep on stirring onions, till it turns deep brown in color.
  • Separate fried onions from the extra ghee and take out fried onions in a bowl and keep aside.

Prepare Pulao

  • In the same ghee, add whole spices, on medium to low flame, sauté for a minute and then add nuts and fry till it starts giving the aroma of fried nuts.
  • Take out some nuts and keep aside to add as garnish.
  • Drain water from rice, add to kadhai, sauté rice for a few seconds.
  • Add Saffron milk, mix it and then add water about 3 cups. Add salt and then mix well.
  • Cover and cook rice, till it soaks all the water and rice grains are cooked. This takes another 10-15 mins or as much time as your steamed rice takes to cook.
  • Check rice grains for doneness. Press between the thumb and index finger. It should not feel coarse.
  • Once rice is done, switch off the flame and keep the rice covered for about 5-10 mins.
  • Then, remove the lid and then lightly fluff rice with fork.
  • Add Barista onions and very gently fold in rice.
  • Serve hot topped with more barista with your favourite curry.


For Vegan Version- Skip Ghee, use almond milk or only lukewarm water to soak saffron.
Keyword Indian Saffron Rice
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