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Wannabe Saffron Rice

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Today I’ll teach you a short-cut to making expensive saffron rice. This rice is made with the vibrant yellow spice, turmeric. Turmeric is more affordable, more nutritious and will even lend a soft yellow hue to the rice in the same way saffron does.

photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Meet saffron. Saffron resembles spindly orange and gold threads. The average amount sold in most grocery stores and specialty herb shops is 1 gram for about $9.00. My friend uses 3-4 threads per batch of rice.

For reference, my pen weighs 13 grams and my multi-vitamin 2 grams.

While I do enjoy saffron at my friend’s house and even occasionally while out to eat, it’s not a spice I’m willing to buy for my pantry.

photo courtesy of Sanjay Acharya through Wikipedia

That’s where turmeric comes in. There are other benefits to making turmeric rice that extend past affordability. As I mentioned on facebook a couple days ago, turmeric boasts these traits:

  • Anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties thanks to the curcumin
  • Turmeric looks very similar to ginger. Turns out they’re in the same family!
  • Can be eaten in its raw plant form.
  • Eat it with cayenne or something spicy to help your body absorb more of it, efficiently.
  • and a fun fact – A North American would need to consume the equivalent of 9 lbs of mustard per day to have turmeric intake similar to that of an Indian.

Turmeric has a light and almost undetectable flavor which makes it ideal for adding to rice, smoothies, and even tofu. It will boost the nutritional profile of your meal while also adding a boom of color. A little goes a long way!

Wannabe Saffron Rice

  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice or a long-grain white rice
  • 2 1/4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • dash of sea salt (optional)
  • 1 carrot, shredded or diced


  1. Rinse rice thoroughly in a fine mesh colander and add to a medium stock pan along with water/broth, turmeric and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until water has disappeared. Add carrot to the top of the rice during the last 10 minutes so it can soften.
  3. Fluff rice with a fork and serve.


Feel free to add additional spices like garlic, onion, and cumin powders.


Serve with roasted veggies, atop a big salad, or simply in a bowl. Enjoy!

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