Saffron Rice – Persian Polo

Aromatic Persian Saffron Rice – Polo

Rice and Saffron are married in Persian cuisine; they simply belong together. The traditional Persian rice was (now limited) grown on the rice paddies of the southern Caspian Sea.

Saffron Rice is a staple and the main dish on any Persian table, served with many types of stews and side dish, or as a standalone dish often with other ingredients blended in. Recipe Compliments of  – Chef Behzad Jamshidi

Cooking Directions

  • 1st – Rinse rice in cold water several times until the water drains clear. Soak rice for 10 minutes

For The Rice:

  • Place a large pot filled with 8 cups of water and 1 ½ tbsp. of sea salt on the stove, cover with a lid, and allow to come to a boil on high heat.
  • Once at a boil, drain soaked rice and add rice to the pot, cover with a lid and return the pot to a boil. Once you have boiling water, remove lid and cook rice for exactly 8 minutes.
  • In the meantime, add 3 tbsp. of canola oil, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 pinch of saffron, & 3 tbsp. water to a pot, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Check your rice – it should be soft on the outside, and firm in the center after 8 minutes. Drain the rice off in a colander or strainer – once majority of the water is drained, add the rice to the pot of saffron and turmeric water.
  • Make two holes in the center of the rice, halfway down. Cover the pot tightly with a lid covered in either a thin towel or paper towel. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, and allow rice to sit for another 5 minutes. Flip the rice onto a plate and serve. The outside should be crisp and have a golden yellow color.


The rice should be aromatic, and slightly saltier than sushi rice. The crust should be crisp, golden, and floral.


  • 2 cups Jasmine rice
  • 1 pinch Persian Saffron (1 sachet)
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 ½ tbsp sea salt