Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Not Saffron Rice

I found a container of Safflower at the store. I didn’t need safflower, but it was there in its cheery round tubular box, and I remembered how safflower was considered a substitute for saffron, and I was then struck by the realization that I’ve never cooked with safflower before, so you know I had to buy it! I wanted to make non-saffron, saffron rice!


I looked at a number of recipes online and got some ideas. Here is what I did, plus notes gleaned from other recipes:

4 cups water

2 tbsp butter (or olive oil, I used butter, even though I usually use the oil because butter sounded good last night)

chicken bullion (for your amount of water, or substitute chicken broth for part of the water – you need 4 cups liquid, flavored chicken!).

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 tsp curry powder or tumeric (tumeric can be bitter, so I went for curry)

1/2 tsp chili powder

1-2 squeezes of lemon (or a 1/2 tsp or so of lemon concentrate)

few dashes of soy sauce (or fish sauce, or 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt, depending on your taste in rice. 

3-4 tsps safflower (I used 4 big ‘pinches’. The recipes for saffron rice generally called for about 1/2 tsp of saffron threads, those who talked about using safflower said to use about 8 times as much. Some people also talked of using tumeric and/or cardamon to boost the flavor of ‘non-saffron’ safflower as safflower has very mild flavor.)

2 cups white rice (or basmati, etc. brown rice was not recommended)

Add the water, butter, and all the rest of the spices, bring to a boil. Add the rice and stir. Lower the heat to simmer, cover tightly, and cook for 15 minutes. Then, turn off the flame and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, do not remove the lid, as you finish preparing the rest of your meal and it will continue to steam inside the pot.

I had made a chicken vegetable tomato sauce mix to roll into tortillas with black beans and this rice on the side was a very good match. Brian put the rice into his tortilla with the meat. The rest of us ate it plain on the side. It turned out very good! It was not saffron rice as the flavor was milder and the color a little muted, but it was still very good! There was definitely a similarity to the flavor of saffron rice. I think we’ll be making this again, and besides, safflower is supposedly good for you according to and according to the label! I love the claims on package labels here! Apparently, it can heal our freckles(!) among other things (if we had any freckles) and measles!

DSC01657 “Safflower:

Usage: in all kinds of meals that contains rice.

Benefits: It’s used to heal freckles and pruritus (itches) and as refreshing for azostomia (bad breath). It’s flower is used to calm the pain of period for women. It heals measles. It reduce the rate of cholesterol and stimulates the immunity system. “


Nomads By Nature said...

It sounds yummy - and with all those benefits, how can you resist?! The freckles part is curious though.

Connie said...

Gotta wonder how much you have to eat to 'cure freckles'?!? ;D I want to try coloring something with this too as it's supposed to make a good dye. We'll see!

Heather Dray said...

I was JUST looking for a cure for freckles (please say that moles caused by loving the sun are freckles!)! This does sound tasty! I'll see if it can turn back the time on my sun loving freckles!!!

Connie said...

The rice was definitely a hit with my family and I'll be making it again!