Here is a simple, yet essential Ayurvedic recipe made from Indian-grown basmati rice and healing spices. It is the perfect dietary addition for your fall season, as it will calm and moisten your Vata, yet cool any residual heat (aka Pitta) you may have leftover from the summer. Basmati rice is considered to be extremely easy to digest and is an amazing food option for times of cleansing, digestive imbalance, illness, weakness, or debility; but of course this rice recipe is just as great for day to day healthy eating. With its beautiful golden color, nourishing properties, and delicious taste, this recipe may just become a staple Ayurvedic comfort food for the fall and beyond!
Saffron Spiced Golden Rice Recipe
- 2 cups water, divided
- 4 to 5 saffron threads, soaked
- 1 cup Indian basmati rice (ideally aged 2 years or more)
- 3 teaspoons ghee or sesame oil, divided
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1/4 teaspoon brown mustard seed
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric*
- 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or mineral salt
*For more flavor and health benefits, replace the turmeric with Agni Churna.
1. Soak the saffron in 1/4 cup of water for 10 minutes. This releases the flavor and health properties of the saffron. Do not discard the water. Both the saffron and soaking water will be added to the recipe.
2. Rinse the rice off using a mesh strainer and discard the water.
3. Heat 2 teaspoons of ghee (or sesame oil) in a medium sauce pan. Once hot, add in the minced onion, cumin seed, brown mustard seed, and black pepper. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes stirring frequently.
4. Add in the turmeric and sauté for an extra 30 seconds stirring constantly.
5. Add in 1 and 3/4 cup of water, plus the saffron with the 1/4 cup of soaking water. This will equal 2 cups of water total. Bring the water to a boil.
6. Once boiling, turn the heat to low. Stir in the rice and cover the pan, leaving a slight crack. Cook here for 10 minutes.
7. At 10 minutes, stir the rice and place the cover on the pan completely. Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
8. Take the pan off of the heat. Add in the remaining teaspoon of ghee (or oil) and the salt. Stir well, cover the pan, and let the rice sit for 5 minutes to soften and fluff.
9. This golden rice pairs great with our Simply Steamed Veggies, Coconut Cilantro Chutney, or Tridoshic Red Lentil Dal. It can also be served with any bean, dal, or veggie dish, or enjoyed as a nourishing snack on it own.
- Use aged (at least 2 years) Indian grown basmati rice for the best results. Basmati rice grown in other areas (i.e. California, Texas) is not the same in health properties and has a moister, stickier, and mushier texture.
- Make this recipe more Kapha friendly by replacing the basmati rice with equal parts of quinoa.
- Kapha types will also benefit from adding in more spice such as extra black pepper, dry ginger, minced garlic, minced chili pepper, or cayenne pepper.
- Pitta types can add more flavor and cooling properties by garnishing the rice with shredded coconut and chopped cilantro.
- Vata types can add more flavor and nourishment by garnishing the rice with extra ghee, roasted cashew pieces, and shredded coconut.