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Saffron Rice

Zafrani Pulao/ Saffron Rice/ Hyderabadi Zafrani Pulao

Zafrani is nothing but Saffron and this pulao uses a good amount of saffron giving it a beautiful color, fragrance and flavor. Use the best saffron you can find and this dish is sure to be a crowd pleaser. I served the pulao with Shahi Arvi, another rich and delicious Mughlai dish.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: hyderabadi
Servings: 4 serving


  • cups Basmati rice
  • 1 Onion - medium, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ tsp Saffron
  • 2 chilies Green - slit
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 1 tbsp Butter - cut into pats
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3 cardamom Green
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Cinnamon " stick
  • 2 - 3 tbsps Dry fruits (cashews, almonds, raisins)
  • to taste Salt


  • Wash, rinse and soak basmati rice in cold water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Roast the saffron in a small pan for 15-30 seconds. Then using a pestle or a spoon powder saffron. Add warm milk to it and set it aside until ready to use.
  • Heat 1tbsp oil in a large saute pan and roast the nuts and raisins until golden, remove into a small bowl. In the same pan heat 2tbsp oil; add the whole garam masala (cloves through shahjeera from the list) and cook for 30-60 seconds or until it starts to smell fragrant.
  • Add the onions and green chilies and cook until onions turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for another minute.
  • Next add 2cups of water and the nuts, mix well; bring the mixture to a simmer and add the drained rice. Cover and cook on high heat until almost all of the water is absorbed.
  • Now lower the heat and stir in the saffron milk; very gently mix it into the rice. Arrange the pats of butter over the rice. Cover and cook on very low heat for 5-7 minutes.
  • If you feel that the water is not enough to cook the rice, then sprinkle some water on the top and cook covered until done.
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