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Caramelized Onion and Almond Rice Pilaf

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Why not give this Caramelized Onion & Almond Rice Pilaf dish a try the next time you’re craving rice. A versatile side dish that will go with many Indian inspired dishes or even every day chicken recipes!

overhead table setting view of the Caramelized Onion & Almond Rice Pilaf
Caramelized Onion & Almond Rice Pilaf

Using Saffron

I don’t use saffron too often, mostly because it is just so darn expensive.  Note, I used the term “hint”.  I have been using saffron for quite a number of years now.  I have even gone to cooking classes some years ago where we were shown how to use saffron properly.  I live in Andalucia, Southern Spain where saffron is grown and used in many dishes.  However, I have never ever been able to achieve the bright yellow colour associated with saffron. So, why?  Well, if I ever figure it out I will let you know.

close up of the Caramelized Onion & Almond Rice Pilaf

In the meantime this pilaf is really nice.  We had it the other evening with the Andalucian Braised Chicken and it went really well together.  This dish can easily be made ahead, reheated and served when you like. 

What the infused saffron looks like

A great rice pilaf to serve with many main courses. Hope you like the dish! Learn more about How to Caramelize Onions in this post!

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Caramelized Onion & Almond Rice Pilaf

Saffron infused rice with sweet caramelized onions and topped with crunchy almonds.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: almonds, rice, saffron
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 234kcal
Author: Julia Pinney


  • 1 Cup Basmati rice
  • 2 Cups vegetable stock
  • Few threads of saffron
  • 2 Tablespoons hot water
  • 1 onion halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil divided
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1/2 Cup almonds roughly chopped


  • In a small bowl, combine the saffron threads with the hot water. Leave to infuse for about 15 minutes or so.
  • In a medium skillet set over medium heat, add one tablespoon of olive oil and the onion. Give a good stir and cook long enough to brown the onion. Probably about 5 minutes. Add a couple of tablespoons of stock to the onions, reduce heat to low and leave to cook for a further 10 minutes or so. Stir occasionally so they cook evenly and don’t burn or stick to the pan. Once cooked. add the extra tablespoon of oil to the pan and the rice along with the infused saffron. give a good stir around the pan and let the rice become a little translucent at the edges, about a minute. Pour in all the stock, reduce heat to low and cover. Check the rice after about 15 minutes and see if it is cooked and the stock absorbed. If still a little hard and the stock has all evaporated, add a little more water. Remove from heat when cooked. Leave a few minutes then fluff up with a fork. Add almonds and fresh coriander. Give a good stir and serve.

*A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.

Nutrition Facts
Caramelized Onion & Almond Rice Pilaf
Amount Per Serving (6 servings)
Calories 234 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 316mg14%
Potassium 146mg4%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 167IU3%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 44mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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By on January 27th, 2016
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