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Anna Jones’s recipe for biryani with saffron and golden veg | The modern cook |

The often-overlooked side dish becomes the star of the show in a saffron-infused biryani and a speedy, but satisfying, lemon pilaf

There seems to be a rice dish to suit every mood and soothe any ill. Rice has a mothering quality, from the stodgy reassurance of a Thai sticky sidekick to a calming bowl of risotto. As starches go, however, rice has always lagged behind bread, potatoes, pasta and even noodles in my kitchen.

Recently, though, there has been a rice renaissance in our house thanks to my brother-in-law, Phil. He makes the kind of fluffy basmati rice that has always eluded me: tender within, but with a light bite on the outside; fluffy, but with a toothsome stickiness. I’ve spent the past year or so trying to perfect it and I think I might finally be there.

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