Prep Cook Yield Ready In
5 minutes 20 minutes 4 servings 25 minutes

Saffron Rice with Raisins and Pine Nuts

A simple and sweet side dish for the Jewish New Year or anytime.

Saffron rice with pine nuts is made all over the Middle East. Sometimes it is spiced with a little ground coriander, cinnamon and cumin or flaked almonds are used instead of the pine nuts. This saffron rice is often served for Rosh Hashanah as the addition of raisins is said to sweeten the year ahead. But it is delicious any time of year.

Recipe excerpted with permission from Hazana: Jewish Vegetarian Cooking by Paola Gavin, published by Quadrille. 


  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) long-grain rice
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) pine nuts
  • 3 Tbsp raisins
  • 1 cups (500 ml) hot vegetable stock or water
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads, dissolved in 2 Tbsp hot water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Wash the rice under cold running water and drain.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan and cook the onions and pine nuts over a moderate heat until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the rice and raisins and stir well, so each grain of rice is coated in oil.
  4. Add the hot stock and the saffron liquid, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cover and simmer for 18–20 minutes or until the rice is tender but still firm and small craters have appeared in the surface of the rice. Serve hot.

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