Rinse rice 2-3 times, until water runs clear. If using Basmati rice, soaking the rice for 10 minutes in tap-cold water will make the rice fluffier. Rinse and drain rice after soaking. rinse it again.
Add ½ teaspoon of saffron in a small bowl. Using the back of a teaspoon, break down the stems into smaller pieces. Add 1 tablespoon of boiling hot water to it and let it sit for 5 minutes. Alternatively, add cold water to the saffron and microwave it for 20-30 seconds.
Instant Pot - Main Pot Method
Add rinsed and drained rice and all other ingredients in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Close lid. Set valve to sealing position. Cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 6 minutes at high pressure.
Wait 5 minutes before manually releasing the pressure (NPR 5). Open the lid after the pin drops. Using a fork carefully fluff the rice and serve warm.
Instant Pot - Pot-In-Pot Preparation
Assemble rice, water and all the ingredients in any oven safe container or a bowl. Add 1 cup water, or the recommended quantity, to your inner pot. Place trivet and place the rice bowl on top of that. Close the lid and set valve to sealing position. Cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 6 minutes at high pressure.
Wait 5 minutes before manually releasing the pressure (NPR 5). Open lid after the pin drops. Using a fork, carefully fluff the rice.
On the Stovetop
For one cup of rice, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add rinsed and drained rice, salt, ghee or oil, slivered almonds, and saffron that has been soaking in warm water (see Soak Saffron above).
Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. Let the rice rest for 5 minutes. Gently fluff with a fork and serve warm.
In the Microwave
In a microwave safe bowl, add drained rice, 2 cups of water (for 1 cup rice), and all other ingredients, and cook it at “Rice” mode. Let the rice rest for 5 minutes after cooking. Fluff with a fork and serve warm.
Buy high-quality saffron. Purchase saffron that is bright red in color with no signs of yellow stamens. I do not recommend saffron powder.
Substituting brown rice. Basmati or Jasmine white rice give the best results in this recipe. If using brown rice, please keep in mind that the flavor, texture and cooking time will be a bit different. Follow the same instructions and adjust the pressure cook time to 22 minutes followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release.
Rinse and soak the rice beforehand. Rinse the rice under cool running water until the water runs clear to rid of excess starch on the surface. If using Basmati rice, soaking the rice for 10 minutes in tap-cold water will make the rice fluffier.
Soak the saffron threads in warm liquid. This will help to open up the spice and release its floral flavor. For quick results, I microwave the saffron threads and 1 Tablespoon water for 20-30 seconds. Alternatively, pour 1 Tablespoon boiling water over the saffron threads and allow them to bloom for 10 minutes.
Replace the water with vegetable or chicken stock. The addition of stock rather than water will add depth of flavor, just make sure to purchase a low-sodium variety to control the salt in the recipe. Use light-colored vegetable stock to keep this recipe Vegetarian (and golden yellow).
Jazz it up: To make this recipe even fancier, add a tablespoon each of raisins (or dried cranberries) and pine nuts (or cashews) while cooking.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates and do not include the optional add-ins. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.