Timman z’affaran

Timman z’affaran

Saffron rice

The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Alan Benson


Quantity Ingredient
400g basmati rice
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons rosewater
85g ghee
or 85ml oil
40g almonds, blanched and split
1 onion, finely chopped
250g minced lamb or beef
1/2 teaspoon Baharat
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra to season
30g sultanas
750ml chicken stock


  1. Place the rice in a sieve and wash well until the water runs clear. Cover with cold water and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pound the saffron threads and place in a small bowl. Add the rosewater and leave to steep until required.
  3. Heat half the ghee or oil in a frying pan, add the almonds and fry until golden. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Add the onion to the pan and fry gently until translucent. Increase the heat, add the meat and cook, stirring often, until the meat is crumbly. Fry until the juices evaporate, then add the baharat, salt and sultanas. Fry for 1 minute longer, then remove the pan from the heat. Cover and set aside.
  5. Heat the remaining ghee or oil in a deep, heavy-based saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of the saffron mixture and the chicken stock. Bring to the boil.
  6. Drain the rice and add to the boiling stock with salt to taste. Stir occasionally until the stock returns to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan tightly. Simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  7. Fold the meat mixture gently through the rice. Cover the rim of the pan with a cloth or two paper towels and set the lid on tightly. Leave over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave for another 5 minutes, or longer if necessary. The rice should not spoil, though this depends on its quality.
  8. Pile the rice in a serving dish or platter and sprinkle with the almonds and the remaining saffron–rosewater mixture.
  9. Excellent served with roast chicken and lamb, or as part of a buffet.
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Middle Eastern
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