Middle Eastern Saffron Rice with Baked Salmon

by Ruwani
0 comment

This amazing Middle Eastern Saffron Rice with Baked Salmon is easy to make in 30 minutes. The fragrant rice and the salmon are prepared with aromatic herbs and spices. This adorned platter is excellent for your next celebration!

Middle eastern saffron rice with baked salmon

The Middle Eastern Saffron Rice with Baked Salmon is a family favorite, and it is one of the dishes that I make on special occasions to celebrate. It’s been 14 years in the Middle East, and we have been enjoying middle eastern food for quite some time now. A few of our favorites are the flatbreads, shawarma, kebabs, mezze, falafel, and majboose rice, and not forgetting the most significant part of the meal: DESSERT! Yes, that’s right. I love my desserts, and especially Um Ali, Kunafa, and baklava are some of my favs.

Middle Eastern Recipes on the blog


If you prep ahead, this meal will be ready in 30 minutes. It’s quick, easy, healthy, and a great crowd-pleaser. Make this for your next special occasion to impress your family and friends. Serve this meal with some lemony mint yogurt and a salad.

Baked Salmon with Saffron rice

How to make Middle Eastern Saffron Rice with Baked Salmon

How to make Saffron Rice

Cooking rice is not a difficult thing if you follow the accurate rice to water ratio. 

When I cook short-grain/ long grain rice on the stovetop or even in a rice cooker: I make sure I use 2 cups of water to 1 of rice. This recipe calls for Basmati rice, but you can use any long grain rice you prefer. However, for Basmati rice, use 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. This ratio yields perfectly cooked rice. Adding more water might make the basmati rice go mushy. 

spicy baked salmon

Most of the basmati rice recipes call for soaking the rice. It makes the cooking process quick and produces a longer grain. Nevertheless, I use the non – soaking method that is quick and yields fluffier rice. Always remember to use a fork to fluff the cooked rice. 

Ingredients for the saffron rice

Basmati Rice– Basmati rice is aromatic and flavorful. I would suggest buying good quality basmati rice for this recipe. 

Saffron – Saffron gives the rice a golden-yellow hue and makes it fragrant. However, you can use saffron food color or turmeric. 

You need 1-2 pinches of saffron for this recipe. If using food coloring, add a drop or two to get the correct color or 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. 

Spices – To make it more aromatic and, flavourful use cardamom and 

cloves. 

Ghee – Using ghee in this recipe is very important for the flavor. Butter can be a great option if you don’t have ghee. 

Onions – Onions add more flavor to the rice, and I used red onions. You can use white or yellow. 

 Stock/broth – I have used chicken stock and vegetable stock several times for this recipe. Vegetable or chicken stock makes the rice taste better. Although, water works well too. The rice to stock/water ratio should be 1: 1.5 for fluffier rice. 

To garnish – Use slivered pistachios, brown raisins, cranberries, pomegranate arils, chopped mint, and parsley. 

Salmon recipes

How to make Middle Eastern Baked Salmon

We love seafood, and this is something that we have been eating daily since childhood. My mum cooks fish daily for lunch and chicken during weekends; especially, on Sundays. So I learned to cook seafood from my mum and grandma. 

Points to remember when cooking fish

 On the stovetop:

  • Always buy fresh fish. 
  • Marinate it at least for 15 -20 minute
  • Use a heavy bottom skillet/non-stick pan.
  • Have the heat on medium 
  • Do not overcrowd the pan.
  • Once you place the fish in the pan, let it cook for 3-4 minutes before turning: cook the thinner fish steaks/fillet for 2-3minutes on each side. 

Baking the fish in the oven:

  • Always buy fresh fish. 
  • Marinate it at least for 15 -20 minute
  • Heat – oven preheated to 190°C
  • Place the salmon steak on a foil-lined sheet pan with a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes or until done. I like to place it under the broiler for a minute before taking it out.
  • Rest the salmon for 8 minutes in the pan and serve warm with Saffron rice and yogurt. 

This baked salmon is mildly spiced with few spices, which makes it so delicious. The recipe uses the correct amount of spices; that doesn’t overpower the salmon. I used salmon steaks, but you can use fillets. A good alternative for salmon would be kingfish. Marinating the fish is an important step. You can marinate it a day ahead and leave it in the refrigerator and take it out 30 minutes before you cook. 

Middle eastern saffron rice with salmon

Middle Eastern Saffron Rice with Baked Salmon Recipe

Recipe by Ruwani Ravin KumarCourse: Main, Dinner, LunchCuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings

5

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

This amazing Middle Eastern Saffron Rice with Baked Salmon is easy to make in 30 minutes. The fragrant rice and the salmon are prepared with aromatic herbs and spices. This adorned platter is excellent for your next celebration!

Ingredients

  • For the Baked Salmon
  • 5 steaks /about 600g fresh salmon steaks

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 11/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon sumac

  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic/ garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for baking

  • For the Saffron Rice
  • 3 cups / 585g of Basmati rice (uncooked)

  • 2 Tablespoons /24g ghee

  • 4-5 cardamom pods bruised

  • 3-4 cloves

  • 1 small red onion finely chopped

  • 2 pinches of saffron / 1-2 drops of saffron food color

  • 4 1/2 cups chicken/ vegetable stock/ water

Directions

  • Baked Salmon
  • Preheat the oven to 190C.
  • In a small bowl, mix all the spices with lemon juice. Place the salmon steaks on a plate and apply the spice mix evenly on each steak ( both sides). Marinate for at least 20 minutes. This step can be done a day ahead and place the fish to marinate in the refrigerator.
  • Line a sheet pan with foil and drizzle olive oil. Next, place the salmon steak and bake it for 15-18 minutes. I like to put it under the broiler for a minute before taking it out.
  • Rest the salmon for 8 minutes and serve warm with saffron rice, lemony mint yogurt, and a salad.
  • Saffron rice
  • Rinse and drain the basmati rice and leave it aside.
  • Warm the chicken stock for 1 minute in the microwave and put in 2 pinches of saffron, and let it infuse.
  • Place a large heavy-bottom non-stick pot on medium-high heat.
  • Add 2 Tablespoons of Ghee, bruised cardamom pods, cloves, and the chopped red onions and cook until it turns translucent.
  • Next, add the rinsed and drained rice to the pot and stir well until the rice is well coated.
  • Finally, add the saffron-infused chicken stock to the rice. Stir and bring it to a simmer. When it starts to simmer, turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook the rice for 18 minutes or until the liquid is completely absorbed.
  • Turn- off the heat and fluff the rice with a fork: and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  • Put the rice in a serving platter and garnish it with pistachios, raisins, pomegranate arils, and chopped parsley.
  • Serve warm with baked salmon and other accompaniments.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment below or Mention @celebratingflavors on Instagram and hashtag it #celebratingflavors

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