Here's how to make the saffron rice. It is dead easy to make and so much tastier than plain rice. We had it with some salmon steaks and fresh spinach, but it would be really good with lamb, a tagine, or other oily fish. It could also be a meal in itself. Basmati rice is a great fuel for athletes. It is low in fat and an excellent source of vitamin E, B vitamins (thiamin and niacin) and potassium. It has a medium GI, which means that it breaks down slowly during digestion, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream and therefore supplying energy to the muscles more gradually...and it is easy to digest. The almonds are full of magnesium and potassium and the cranberries are a great antioxidant and full of vitamin C.
Saffron Rice - serves 4
First rinse the rice really well until the water runs clear. If you use brown basmati, you will need to cook it for a bit longer and add a little more water.
100g unsalted butter
6 cardamom pods, crushed (I used 1 tsp powder last night, as I had run out of pods)
crushed black peppercorns (about 4)
250 - 300g basmati rice
50g flaked almonds (pistachios are also nice as an alternative)
small pack of dried cranberries
pack of dried saffron (0.5g) soaked in a few tbsps. boiling water and left to infuse for 10 minutes
freshly chopped parsley or coriander to sprinkle on top
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf and black pepper. Gently saute over a low heat for a few minutes until the spice aromas start to be released.
- Add the rice, stir to coat in the butter.
- Add the nuts, cranberries and saffron water and then pour over enough water to cover the rice by about 1 cm. Add some salt at this stage. Bring to the boil, cover tightly and simmer very gently for 10 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. The rice will soak up all the water, so you will not have to drain it.
- Serve in a dish sprinkled with fresh herbs.