Zafrani pulao

Zafrani pulao recipe: A Fusion of Indian delight

Long-grain basmati rice, saffron, and a variety of fragrant spices are frequently used to produce the classic Indian rice dish known as zafrani pulao. It is a delicious dish that is frequently served at festive festivities and special occasions.

The rice is first soaked in water for at least 30 to 60 minutes prior to making zafrani pulao. Warm milk is used to soak saffron in order to release its color and aroma. Afterward, a variety of spices are tempered in heated ghee or oil, including cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and bay leaves. The saffron milk, salt, and rinsed rice are then added to the pan. Till it is tender and fluffy, the rice is cooked.

Add fried onions, roasted cashews, and raisins as a garnish to enhance the texture and flavor of zafrani pulao. You can eat it either on its own or as a side dish to a variety of curries and gravies.

Zafrani pulao recipe
Zafrani pulao recipe

Ingredients for zafrani pulao:

  • 2 cups of basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1/2 cup of ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 green cardamom pods
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of saffron strands, soaked in 1/4 cup of warm milk
  • 4 cups of water or chicken stock
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander and fried onions for garnish (optional)

Instructions for zafrani pulao:

  1. Make sure the water flows clean when you rinse the rice in cold water. Soak rice for 30 minutes in cool water. Drain the water after 30 minutes, then set the rice aside.
  2. Saffron strands should be soaked in warm milk and set aside in a small bowl.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed pot set to medium heat, melt the ghee. Fry the onions till golden brown after adding them.
  4. To the pot, add the cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and bay leaf. Sauté for one to two minutes.
  5. After the nuts are lightly browned, add the mixed dried fruits to the pot and cook for an additional two to three minutes.
  6. Rice that has been soaked and drained should be added to the saucepan, and it should be sautéed for 1-2 minutes to coat it with the ghee and spices.
  7. Bring the pot to a boil with 3 cups of water and salt to taste.
  8. Once the rice has absorbed all the water and is fully cooked, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot tightly with a lid, and let the rice cook for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork and drizzle the saffron milk over the rice. Gently mix the rice to distribute the saffron milk evenly.
  10. To enable the flavors to merge, cover the pot and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  11. Fresh coriander leaves and some cooked onions make a tasty garnish for Zafrani Pulao.
  12. Serve hot with your preferred curry or raita.

Enjoy your delicious and aromatic Zafrani Pulao!


  • Use good quality basmati rice for the best results. The long-grain rice is fragrant, fluffy, and perfect for this dish.
  • Saffron is a key ingredient in this recipe, so use good quality saffron threads to get the authentic flavor and color.
  • You can add a variety of vegetables, such as carrots, beans, or potatoes, to the pulao to make it more nutritious and flavorful.
  • You can also add some fried onions to the pulao for added crunch and flavor.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve the Zafrani Pulao hot with some raita (yogurt dip) or a side dish of your choice.
  • Zafrani Pulao is perfect for special occasions and gatherings, such as weddings, parties, or festivals.
  • Store Leftover Zafrani Pulao in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.
  • To make the dish more festive, you can sprinkle some edible silver or gold foil on top of the pulao before serving.


  • Can I use any other type of rice?

Ans: Although basmati rice is the preferred choice for Zafrani Pulao, you can use any long-grain rice as a substitute.

  • Can I make Zafrani Pulao in a rice cooker?

Ans: Yes, you can make Zafrani Pulao in a rice cooker. Simply follow the instructions for the rice cooker and adjust the water and spice ratios accordingly.

  • Can I make Zafrani Pulao without saffron?

Ans: Saffron is an important ingredient in Zafrani Pulao and gives it its signature flavor and color. However, if you do not have saffron, you can substitute it with turmeric powder or yellow food coloring.

  • Can I add meat or chicken?

Yes, you can add meat or chicken to make it more filling and nutritious. Simply cook the meat or chicken separately and add it to the pulao towards the end of the cooking process.

  • Can I freeze Zafrani Pulao?

Ans: While it is possible to freeze Zafrani Pulao, the rice may become slightly dry and lose some of its texture and flavor upon thawing. It is best to store the leftovers in the refrigerator and consume them within 2-3 days.


Calories 521kcal
Fat 13g
Carbohydrates 98g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A

Zafrani pulao


The Zafrani Pulao is more than just a rice dish; it’s a culinary masterpiece that combines the royal flavors of saffron, the richness of ghee, and the sweetness of dry fruits. By following our step-by-step guide, you can bring the essence of Indian royalty to your dinner table. Impress your guests and elevate your culinary skills with this extraordinary recipe.


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