Saffron Rice Supreme (Iraq)

Timman Azz’affaran

Richly exotic with spices and a hint of sweetness, this is a splendid and evocative dish that dates back to the extravagant Baghdad court of the Abbasid caliph Hurun al Rasheed. It’s ideal for your feast, too, because the rice can be prepared in advance and tossed with the spices before serving.

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes


  • 1 1/4 cups converted rice
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup yellow raisins
  • 1/3 cup blanched almonds, slivered
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads, slightly crushed
  • salt
  • pepper


Prepare the rice in advance. Fluff the cooked grains and let cool to room temperature.

Soak the raisins in hot water for about 10 minutes; drain.

Sauté the almonds and spices in the butter or oil over low heat for about 2 minutes. Add the raisins and saffron and toss together for 1 minute, taking care that the raisins do not burn.

Add the cooked rice and toss to colour each grain and coat it with spices. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.