Every year, when the mornings start to become fresh in the autumn, I am greeted with a beautiful splash of purple, yellow and red in the midst of the green lawn. We harvest the red stamens of this delicate crocus for the most precious spice of all, saffron. Worth its weight in gold, it gives to food the colour of gold and the fragrance of autumn. Our crop is not large, but used sparingly it will last us a year till autumn comes again.
One of my favourite dishes is of course saffron rice. Combined with cashew nuts, raisins and turmeric it is the perfect foil for a curry banquet.
6 cups of rice
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 cup of raisins or sultanas
1 cup of cashew nuts
12 strands of saffron, steeped in 200ml hot water for 5 minutes
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 litre of stock
25 grams of butter
Melt butter in frypan and lightly fry the onions till translucent. Add cashew nuts and raisins, fry for a minute or so, add turmeric. Put the rice into the frypan and mix well till well coated with butter then add the other ingredients. Bring to the boil on a high flame then allow to simmer on very low, covered, for twenty minutes. Serve with any variety of curries and Naan.