Sweet Saffron Rice

Sweet Saffron Rice

Sweet Saffron Rice

The look and smell of saffron rice is delicious and tempting. It makes a perfect dessert for lunch or any kind of get together. You can serve this dish cold or warm.
Serves 4 to 6.
3.50 from 2 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian


  • 1 cup basmati rice or long grain rice
  • 2 Tbsp clarified butter ghee
  • 1 ¾ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 piece of cinnamon stick dalchini
  • ¼ tsp saffron threads kaser
  • 4 whole cloves laung
  • ½ tsp cardamom seeds coarsely crushed, ilachi
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp pistachios and almonds sliced or crushed, pista, badam
  • 1 Tbsp raisins kishmish


  • Dry roast the almonds, pistachios and raisins in a pan on medium heat until the raisins puff and the nuts slightly change color. Set aside.
  • Put the rice, water, cinnamom stick, and salt in a sauce pan over medium high heat.
  • When the rice comes to boil, reduce the heat to low and cover.
  • Let the rice cook for about 15 minutes, or until the water has evaporated.
  • While rice is cooking, in a separate saucepan combine milk, butter, sugar, saffron, cloves and cardamom and bring to boil on medium heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Add the nuts mixture and sugar syrup over the rice. Fold gently into the rice with a spoon gently to avoid mashing the rice.
  • Put the cover back over the rice and turn the heat on to very low. Let the rice simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave it covered for another few minutes before serving.
Keyword Gluten Free, Rice, saffron, Sweet
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Savor the Aromatic Bliss: Sweet Saffron Rice – A Delightful Indian Treat

Sweet saffron rice is a delectable, gluten free and aromatic dessert that originates from Indian cuisine. It features fragrant basmati rice cooked with saffron-infused syrup and a blend of spices, resulting in a rich and flavorful dessert or sweet treat. The saffron lends a vibrant golden hue and a distinct floral flavor to the dish, while the nuts and dried fruits add texture and depth. This delightful dessert is often served on special occasions, festivals, or as a comforting indulgence any time of the day.

1. Nutty Roasting: Enhancing Flavor for Sweet Saffron Rice

Begin your journey of crafting sweet saffron rice by imparting a rich nuttiness to the dish. In a pan over medium heat, dry roast the almonds, pistachios, and raisins until the raisins puff and the nuts undergo a slight color change. This step not only intensifies the flavors of the nuts but also adds a delightful crunch and texture to your saffron sweet rice, elevating its overall appeal.

2. Indian Sweet Rice Recipe: Setting the Stage for Saffron Sweetness

In a saucepan, combine rice, water, a cinnamon stick, and a pinch of salt over medium-high heat. As the ingredients come to a gentle boil, prepare the canvas for the infusion of saffron’s golden hue and aromatic essence into your Indian sweet rice recipe.

3. Simmering Brilliance: Cooking the Rice to Perfection

Once the rice mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Allow the rice to simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the water has evaporated, ensuring each grain is cooked to perfection. This crucial step lays the foundation for the sumptuous texture and delightful flavor profile of your saffron rice Indian delicacy.

4. Saffron Infusion: Creating the Signature Sweetness

While the rice undergoes its transformation, prepare the decadent saffron-infused syrup in a separate saucepan. Combine milk, butter, sugar, saffron strands, cloves, and cardamom over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the aromatic spices release their essence. This fragrant mixture sets the stage for the indulgent sweetness that defines your kesar rice experience.

5. Harmonious Fusion: Merging Nutty Goodness and Sweetness

Once the rice and saffron syrup are ready, it’s time to bring together the elements of your sweet saffron rice. Gently fold the roasted nuts mixture and the fragrant saffron syrup into the cooked rice, using a spoon to ensure even distribution without mashing the grains. This harmonious fusion of flavors and textures creates a symphony of taste in every bite of your Indian sweet rice recipe.

6. Final Simmer: Infusing Depth of Flavor

Cover the saucepan once more and allow the saffron sweet rice to simmer over very low heat for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. This final step ensures that the flavors meld together seamlessly, infusing every grain of rice with the richness of saffron and the nutty crunch of almonds and pistachios.

7. Culinary Crescendo: Serving Sweet Saffron Rice in All its Glory

Turn off the heat and let the sweet saffron rice rest, covered, for a few more minutes before serving. This brief interlude allows the flavors to further develop, culminating in a dish that’s not just a treat for the taste buds but a celebration of the vibrant culinary heritage of India. Enjoy your saffron rice Indian delicacy or kesar rice as a delightful dessert or a comforting indulgence any time of the day.

If you loved this indian sweet rice recipe then you must also check out other variants of Rice: Vegetable Biryani, Masala Khichdi, Chhole Biryani, Quinoa Vegetable Pilaf and Lemon Rice

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30 thoughts on “Sweet Saffron Rice

  1. Thank you so much this really helped me with a class project on India. I needed to bring in authentic cuisine and this was the perfect site it really helped…
    Thanks again!!!

  2. Manjula jee, i cooked Rajma Chawal as per your instructions and it was delicious…I ahve cooked Rajma before also but it was never so tasty. I also tried Badam Milk and that was also very yummy. Today i will prepare saffron rice…Many Thanks

  3. Another delicious recipe! My family loves this one as well as many of your other recipes. I appreciate the clear instructions you give in your recipe videos. Your husband does a great job on the video photography. Thanks to both of you. I always look forward and wait patiently on your next new recipe! You are appreciated!!


  4. This recipe came out perfect! I tried to make this rice so many times but never came out so delicious. Thanks very much for all your recipies.
    I surprise my husband every day now with different meal 🙂

  5. About two years ago I was invited into my friend’s home. She was from Pakistan and her mother served me this dish. I was in love with it then. And now I found a really great recipe for it! I just made a batch but substituted whole cloves for 1/4 tsp ground but could go down to 1/8. Thanks Manjula!
    Now on to your other recipes! Indian food is no longer intemidating!
    Rachel from the USA

    1. Dear Manjula,

      thank you for this wonderful recipies and the tempting smells they bring to my kitchen.
      This rice fits very well into the christmas season in germany and i really enjoyed it.
      But somehow i wasn’t sure about the amount of milk for the sirup and how dry the rice is supposed to come out. In the video i think you say one cup but in the recipie it says 2 tablespoons… I used half a cup, the rice was dry but still delicious.

  6. Dear manjula
    I enjoyed your sweet safron rice,it reminds me of my childhood and my mummys dishes and recipes we used to have at home.
    God bless you and your family
    Merry christmas and a very happy new year.
    Yoseph Daniel

  7. Hello Manjula! I just wanted to comment on your rice and naan recipes and videos. They were excellent. I recently travelled to Bangalore, India and had the opportunity to experience a lot of Indian cuisine and you have greatly helped me to prepare dishes at home that have me reminiscing of my time spent there. Thank you!

  8. Thanks for all the great recipes and ideas, i grew up eating this food because i lived next door to wonderful people who invited me over to try thier traditional foods, i miss it often and your website is a great and traditional resource!!! thanks

  9. Thanks Manjula ji for all the lovely reciepes. They are so simple and easy. Please keep posting new receipes which will help
    all of us. I am newly married and I have prepared most of your dishes for my in-laws. They all are very happy.. A big thanks to

  10. Hi, I always feard to cook zarda rice but today I tried your recipe of Sweet Saffron Rice. My husband and his two friends enjoyed it toooo much (ofcourse me too). Their comments were “awesome, great”. For a moment i could not believe that such a nice recipe I have prepared. The rice were seperate and credit goes to you. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe. Can you please add any recipe of Eggplant? Waiting for your reply

  11. I was really delighted to find your website with all these delicious recipes Manjula. You cook really well. I was looking for an aloo gobi recipe after eating at an Indian restaurant here in Los Angeles today when I saw your u-tube video. I really enjoyed watching you make the delicious looking food. I’m going to try making the sweet saffron rice, but I just need to go out and buy a few ingedrients. Thank you once again for a lovely website. By the way, my younger sister cooks too and has a website of her own. It’s http://www.myepikorean.com if you are interested. She has Korean food with a Southern Calfornian twist. Thanks again.

  12. Great : my guests thought I had take away from Indian Restaurant . I served this dish with Took Alu Sindhi style fried Pototoes .

    Try It again n again


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