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Brown Rice Pilaf with Saffron & Ginger


Brown rice kicks it up a notch being cooked with a piece of ginger (taken out before serving) and a little bit of saffron. A terrific side dish or mix in some veggies for a light supper.

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Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (8 Votes)


  • 1 teaspoon warm water
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon diced shallot
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice, soaked, rinsed, and drained well
  • 1 3/4 cups water or vegetable broth, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 (1 inch) piece unpeeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley


Servings 6
Adapted from


Step 1

Combine warm water and saffron in a small bowl.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add rice and saffron and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is evenly coated with the oil. Stir in the water, salt, and ginger. Increase the heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the water is absorbed.

Check after 20 minutes; if there are steam holes on the top, it's ready. Remove ginger. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and parsley and fluff with a fork to combine.

Substitute quinoa for the rice (no need to soak it first). For a dolled-up version of this dish, add 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander, and 1/8 teaspoon of ground cardamom when you add the saffron. Add 2 tablespoons of currants or raisins when you add the lemon juice, and substitute mint for the parsley. Serve topped with 3 tablespoons of toasted slivered almonds.

Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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