Saffron Rice with Sour Cherries, Roasted Almonds, Caramelized Onions & Fresh Parsley

Saffron Rice with Sour Cherries, Roasted Almonds, Caramelized Onions & Fresh Parsley


There is nothing more comforting to me than a big bowl of rice, especially when you are using a basmati or a jasmine…the aroma is so nutty and floral, plus they are the perfect base to take on some many different flavors.

I grew up going to my families friends house that made some of the best Persian food ever…come to think of it, they are some of my strongest food memories from my childhood. The mother would make saffron rice with the crispiest tadig in the world! We would fight over that stuff! Tadig is the crispy crunchy rice that forms on the bottom of the pot when the rice is cooking. This is usually done by adding oil and sometimes yogurt. There are many tadig variations including bread and potatoes but the one I have tried is with rice and I swear…I could eat it everyday if I could.

This dish is a variation..there is no tadig but the saffron brings some much flavor and color, plus the addition of the dried fruit it just spot on. If you are interested in trying to make Tadig, check out my recipe for Persian Basmati Rice.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups basmati rice- rinsed 3 times and drained
  • 3 yellow onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 1 cup of dried sour cherries
  • 1/2 cup toasted whole roasted almonds
  • Fresh parsley to garnish
  • salt

1. In a deep pot heat up the olive oil. Place the onions and season well with salt. Let saute for 5 minutes then add in the turmeric and the cinnamon. Saute for another 10 minutes on medium low until caramelized. Remove the onions and place on the side.

2. In the same pot heat up the unsalted butter and add in the saffron. Scrap down the sides and mix into the butter. Add in the rinsed rice and stir until all coated. Season well with salt. Add in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down to low and cover. Let cook covered for 10 minutes. When the rice is cooked uncover and add in the cherries, roasted almonds and the onions. Fluff up with a fork and place on a nice bowl. Garnish with the freshly cut parsley. Enjoy!