Basmati Rice Pilaf with Whole Spices, Saffron & Mint

Basmati Rice Pilaf with Whole Spices, Saffron & Mint
Photo by Scott Phillips


  • ¼ tsp. saffron threads
  • 2 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches each)
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 6 green or white cardamom pods
  • 1 cup uncooked white basmati rice, preferably Indian or Pakistani
  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves (from about 3 oz. mint sprigs), finely chopped
  • + 3 more ingredients
    • 2 tsp. kosher or coarse sea salt
    • 1 medium red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced lengthwise
    • 1 tsp. cumin seeds

Put the rice in a bowl and gently rinse with three or four changes of water, until the water runs fairly clear. Fill the bowl halfway with cold water and let the rice soak at room temperature for 30 min. to soften the kernels. Drain. Heat a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat; pour in the oil...

View full recipe at Fine Cooking


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