Coconut Saffron Basmati Rice

Since we make a stir-fry or a curry at our house on a weekly basis, this has become a staple.  This Coconut Saffron Basmati Rice recipe takes white rice and elevates it to regal status.  I could eat a big bowl of this on its own.  I could rub this all over my face and go to sleep in it.  I could springboard forward 2 and 1/2 somersaults in the pike position into a swimming pool of this stuff.

It is amazing.  

Adding coconut oil gives it a little tropical touch, but a serious tropical - sans umbrella.  The saffron brings that floral nuance that basmati rice already has, but forgot to bring to the dance.  The last part is the Better than Bouillon; which I think is really better than bouillon.  Saltiness is what rice needs to keep it from going flat on you.

One trick is to add twice the saffron the cheapskate side of your brain tells you to add.  Yes, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world.  Yes, at $1,000 per pound, it is ridiculously more expensive than anything else.  Yes, it takes between 50,000 and 75,000 dried flowers to produce only one pound of saffron.  Yes, a little bit goes a long way.

My cheapskate brain has told me all of these things but the rational thought that comes next should be, "If I bought this little jar of saffron in 1988, why is it still here?"  And that's the key.  How old is your saffron?  Was it picked sometime during the Carter Administration?  Get over it.  Dump it in some rice and buy some more.

The next trick is the coconut oil.  Stir it in at the end, to fluff the rice, and not in the beginning.  This is so that you don't cook the turquoise lagoon and white sand beach out of it.  You want the pure essence of the coconut to remain.  You may be pleasantly surprised how light coconut oil is, it is much lighter than olive oil or butter.

The last secret is Better than Bouillon.  This adds a complex saltiness that lends more body and richness than stock.  It can also sit in the fridge for eons.  Along with the rice, the saffron, and the coconut oil, these can be kept for a long time ready to be formed like Voltron when needed.


Coconut Saffron Basmati Rice 

  • 1 cup Basmati rice, rinced well
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon of Better than Bouillon
  • 1 large pinch of saffron, don't be a Grinch
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil


Add the saffron and the Better than Bouillon to the water in a small pot, covered, and bring to a boil.  Add the rice, which will cool the water, bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cook until the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked, about 15 minutes.  Kill the heat and stir in the coconut oil with a fork, fluffing the rice as well.  Serve hot with a shovel.

Serves 2


In case you didn't know what Voltron was...

Authordavid koch
CategoriesHumor, Recipes
3 CommentsPost a comment

Shrimp Lo Mein - photo by absentmindedprof

Chef Amy Koch adapted this from 1,000 Lowfat Recipes by Terry Blonder Golson (GREAT book), there are a ton of veggies which add color and crunch.  You can easily substitute your favorite veggies, like she did.  Use the recipe as a guide and make it your own.  

Awesome Shrimp and Vegetable Lo Mein

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (preferably low-sodium)
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili garlic sauce


  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienne
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, julienne
  • 1 cup snow peas, ends and strings removed, julienne same width as bell peppers
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • Juice from 1/2 lime

12 ounces Chinese noodles, cooked

Start by making sauce: Whisk together ginger, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chicken broth, cornstarch, and chili garlic sauce. Set aside

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in wok or large saute pan.  Season shrimp with salt and pepper, then add to heated oil.  Cook until shrimp turns pink, about 1 minute per side. Remove cooked shrimp to plate and squeeze on the lime juice. Keep warm.  

Add the other 1 tablespoon of oil to pan and add vegetables. Saute on medium-high heat until crisp tender, about 3-4 minutes.  Pour in sauce and let simmer with vegetables for 1 minutes.  Add cooked noodles and toss to combine.  Top with shrimp and serve.



AuthorDave and Amy Koch