Arab-Style Risotto


Arab-Style Risotto

Saffron-infused Rice Delight: Arab-Style Risotto

In the rich tapestry of Arab cuisine, this Arab-Style Risotto brings a delightful twist to the traditional Italian dish. Infused with aromatic spices and fragrant saffron, this creamy rice dish is a true celebration of Arab flavors. Indulge in the velvety texture and exotic taste of this fusion recipe that seamlessly blends the best of Italian and Arab culinary traditions.

Jan Dec

10 minutes

20 minutes

30 minutes

4 servings


Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free


Paleo, Keto, Low-carb, High-protein, Atkins


While the Italian risotto is typically made with Arborio rice and flavored with wine, butter, and Parmesan cheese, this Arab adaptation replaces these ingredients with fragrant spices, saffron, and ghee. The Arab-Style Risotto also incorporates Middle Eastern flavors such as cardamom, cinnamon, and cumin, giving it a unique and enticing taste. We alse have the original recipe for Risotto, so you can check it out.


  • Calories (kcal / KJ): 320 kcal / 1340 KJ
  • Fat (total, saturated): 6g, 3g
  • Carbohydrates (total, sugars): 60g, 2g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Salt: 1g


  1. 1.
    Rinse the Basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain well.
  2. 2.
    In a large pot, melt the ghee over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent.
  3. 3.
    Add the Basmati rice to the pot and stir well to coat the grains with the ghee.
  4. 4.
    Sprinkle the ground cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon over the rice. Stir to evenly distribute the spices.
  5. 5.
    Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.
  6. 6.
    Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
  7. 7.
    In a small bowl, mix the saffron threads with warm water. Drizzle the saffron mixture over the cooked rice and gently fluff it with a fork to distribute the saffron evenly.
  8. 8.
    Season with salt to taste and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Treat your ingredients with care...

  • Basmati rice — Rinse the rice thoroughly to remove excess starch and achieve fluffy grains.
  • Saffron threads — Soak the saffron threads in warm water for at least 10 minutes to release their vibrant color and aroma.
  • Ghee — Substitute ghee with vegetable oil for a vegan version of the dish.
  • Ground spices — For enhanced flavor, toast the ground cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon in a dry pan for a minute before adding them to the dish.
  • Vegetable broth — Use homemade vegetable broth or low-sodium store-bought broth for the best taste.

Tips & Tricks

  • For added texture, you can stir in some toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds before serving.
  • To make the dish more substantial, serve it with grilled vegetables or a side salad.
  • Experiment with different spices like turmeric or sumac to customize the flavor profile to your liking.
  • If you prefer a creamier consistency, stir in a splash of coconut milk or almond milk at the end.
  • Leftover Arab-Style Risotto can be transformed into delicious rice balls by shaping them into patties, coating them in breadcrumbs, and frying until golden brown.

Serving advice

Serve the Arab-Style Risotto hot as a main course, accompanied by a fresh salad or grilled vegetables. Garnish with additional chopped parsley for a pop of color.

Presentation advice

For an elegant presentation, mold the cooked rice into a round shape using a small bowl or ramekin. Invert it onto a plate and garnish with a sprinkle of saffron threads and a sprig of fresh parsley.