I ate a Chicken Shawarma the other day (pregnancy protien craving- vegetarian will have to wait!) and the rice under the chicken was yellow and had a slightly nutty taste- I can't really explain it. Not nutty like quinoa... not sure. I think it may have been basmati rice but I'm not sure.. the grains were long white and pointed. Anyone? Recipe, perhaps?
I'd say that it is probably turmeric making the rice yellow, which is actually more common because it's less expensive. Chances are that it was turmeric because it's just seen more often in Mediterranean cooking in my experience. Unless it was an upscale restaurant, it probably wasn't saffron. If you google "yellow rice", you can find hundreds of recipes for it. Better yet, call the restaurant and just ask for the recipe. I find that just as often as not, they'll tell you what's in it (you just have to figure out the correct ratios).
Wanted to bump this up and say thanks :) Going to try making some of my own today... bought turmeric and basmati rice, but I'm not sure of what else to put in it. Maybe some broth?
Sure, using chicken stock rather than plain water will add good flavour.
You could also saute a little onion and/or garlic in olive oil, then add the turmeric, broth and the rice and bring it all to a boil and cook as usual.
It will be a little more like a pilaf but I'm not sure whether the original rice dish you had with the shawarma was simply rice or you detected some vegetables or other additions (I sometimes add currants and pine nuts and curry to make a rice dish) too.
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