unplanned – saffron coriander & lemon rice

26th June 2009


Unplanned dinner days can always lead to poor choices.  I was having one of those moments.  Friday, last day of school.  One does not feel like cooking.  We contemplated takeaway, then I decided I really needed those carbs for my race next weekend.  So, faced with some left-over kiphler potatoes,  a last scoop of labne, and of course that endless supply of cherry tomatoes, the final choice was Smashed Roasted Potatoes with Labne, a saffron and lemon rice and a green salad. I have to say I felt better for making the effort, particularly after tasting the potatoes.

Surprisingly, the simplest part of the meal was the potatoes.  That will be a dish I will definitely being making quite often.  That recipe will appear in my next post, as the focus for this one is the saffron and rice dish.  The original recipe is my favourite rice dish.  It was first introduced to me by my sister-in-law, Sarah, and came from ‘Delicious’, an Australian food magazine, of which I am an avid reader.  In this variation, I added coriander, lemon zest and juice, and omitted the white wine (which I usually do).

saffron coriander & lemon rice

Preparation 25 minutes

Serves 3 – 4


1 cup basmati rice

2 cups boiling water/vegetable stock

good pinch saffron threads (15 threads) 

2 Tbsp ghee

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

½ tsp sea salt

1 bay leaf

handful coriander, finely chopped

zest and juice of ½ lemon


1.  Rinse the rice until the water runs clear, pour into a sieve to drain.

2.  Place the saffron threads in the boiling water to steep for 5 minutes.

3.  In a heavy-based pan, heat ghee, then fry the celery and salt; when soft, add rice and stir to coat grains in ghee.

4.  Pour in ¼ cup saffron water and stir. When almost evaporated, add remaining saffron water, bay leaf and bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer, uncovered for 8 – 10 minutes or until the water has evaporated.

5.  Turn off heat, and cover with a tea towel between the lid – set aside undisturbed for further 10 minutes.

6.  Add lemon zest, juice, coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Shared goodness from Donna

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1 comment

  • lulu

    oh stacey, just looking at your blog makes my mouth water. Thanks for all the delights that have landed in my tummy over the last few lovely days, and for leaving these recipes so that you are never far away in my kitchen. Indeed, you never are! (your recipes enliven my window sill)

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