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Saffron Rice

Serves 6

Cooking with Saffron

Saffron is sweet, astringent, and bitter to taste, heating with a sweet vipaka (post-digestive effect). It is balancing for all three doshas, easy to digest and helps food allergies. Medicinal Uses: Very effective for migraine-type headache. It can be effective in revitalizing the blood, circulation and the female reproductive system. Doshic Notes Vata = Pitta = Kapha =


1 generous pinch saffron 1 Tbs water 1 1/2 cups basmati rice 3 Tbs ghee or unsalted butter 4 bay leaves 7 bits of cinnamon bark (about 1 heaping teaspoon) 7 cloves, whole 1/2 tsp salt 7 cardamom pods, whole 4 cups hot water


Soak the saffron in the 1 tablespoon water for at least 10 minutes.

Wash and rinse the rice twice. Drain.

Heat a pot over medium heat and add the ghee. Then add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and cardamom and mix well for a minute. Turn the heat to low, add the rice and sauté in the spices for 2 minutes.

Pour in the hot water and the soaked saffron and bring to a gentle boil. Boil uncovered for 5 minutes. Then turn down the heat to medium and partially cover.

Continue to boil gently for another 5 minutes, stirring once or twice to keep from sticking.

Turn the heat to low, fully cover and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

Sometimes at the end of a long day, comfort food can be soothing and relaxing. The simplicity of steamed vegetables and saffron rice can take the stress off and set you up for an evening of respite.

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The spiritual journey starts here

Picture of Vasant Lad BAM&S, MASc

Vasant Lad BAM&S, MASc

A native of India, he served for three years as Medical Director of the Ayurveda Hospital in Pune, India. He was Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Pune University College of Ayurvedic Medicine for 15 years. He holds a Bachelor’s of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAM&S) degree from the University of Pune and a Master’s of Ayurvedic Science (MASc) degree from Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya. The author of numerous books, Vasant Lad is respected throughout the world for his knowledge of Ayurveda.