Indian rice with chicken and Saffron
With Cashew nuts and dried cherries

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Indian rice with chicken and Saffron

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Adjust Servings:
1 kilo/ 2 lb. chicken thighs without the bone
For the Marinade
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. Ginger cut finely
3 cloves Garlic crushed
from one lemon Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
For the Rice
2 tbsp. Butter or ghee
2 Bay leaves
10 peppercorns Black Pepper
6 pods cardamom bruised
1 medium Onions sliced
400g/ 13oz. Basmati rice
750ml water
half cinnamon stick
25g/ 1oz. dried Cherries or cranberries
pinch saffron soaked in 3 tbsp of warm milk
2 tbsp. Salt
1/2 cup cashew nuts
2 tbsp. Butter

Nutritional information

Serving size
Total Fat

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  • Rice


  • For the Marinade

  • For the Rice



I cooked this rice last week at an Indian dinner in our house, this rice recipe is one of my favorite versions for Indian rice. It holds all the Indian flavors we love so much without one of the flavors being too aggressive making every bite different than the other.

One might say, at the end of the day the Indian spices creates a strong blend which will make any food lose its flavors creating a typical Indian signature. I believe in this case there are a variety of flavors which contradict one another but also complement each other, strange, isn’t it? however, in India like in India everything goes and the key factor is keeping flavors gentle not letting a single condiment take over the pot.

Indian rice

We use strong seasoning which can easily affect the outcome like cardamom, cinnamon, garam masala mixture, all are gently added to the rice and softened with some butter at the finishing stages.

Indian cooking is something that never seize to amaze me, so many flavors in one pot which creates a single line of screaming flavors which we identify as the Indian food trademark.

This rice goes extremely well with Butter Chicken, with Aloo Palak or Dal, it can absorb any sauce and if you want to keep a vegetarian meal just discard the chicken, however I have to say the chicken and its marinade add quite a lot of flavoring to the dish.

Indian rice

Serving the rice with the cashew nuts and the cherrys adds sweet and nutty feeling to the dish, giving it a special umami feeling which will blow your mind for a second breaking out of the regular Indian seasoning and texture.


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5 minutes

prepare the marinade

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well
Cut the chicken thighs into bite size pieces, add to the marinade, coating all the chicken pieces.
Rest for 4 hrs. preferably overnight.

6-7 minutes

Starting the rice

Place a heavy saucepan over medium heat, add the butter (or ghee), peppercorns, cardamom pods and bay leaves, cook for 30 seconds and add the sliced onion cooking it for a few more minutes until transparent.
Toss in the chicken along with all its marinade fluids and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the chicken changes its color to pale white starting to glaze in the marinade.

17 minutes

Cooking the Rice

Add the rice and half of the cranberries or dried cherries, mix well and add the water. Toss in the cinnamon stick, bring the water into a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover with the lid and cook for 15 minutes.

7 minutes

finishing the rice dish

while the rice is cooking roast the cashew nuts to extract its nutty flavors
After 15 minutes of cooking, remove the lid, add the saffron with its milk and remaining cranberries, season with salt, mix well and cover with the lid for another 5 minutes.

2 minutes

Before Serving

Remove the lid, add the cashew nuts and 2 tbsp. of butter, mix the rice and serve immediately.


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