Nothing makes a good Indian dinner into an outstanding Indian dinner to be remembered like a great rice pilau.
Rice pilau can be eaten with your favourite curry or simply on its own. In fact I used to make a similar rice pilau recipe all the time in my university years when I needed to eat but wanted to ensure I had enough beer money.
Nowadays, I must cook it once a week because it’s so easy and tastes great too.
There are so many amazing flavours in this rice dish. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do.
By the way, just in case you’re wondering why I ended up with so much, I doubled the recipe.
- 250g (9 0z) Good quality Basmati Rice
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ finely chopped Spanish onion
- 3 black cardamom pods or 6 green cardamom pods
- 1 2" cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves.
- Pour the rice into a bowl and cover with water. With your hand, move the rice around in the water. The starch will come of the rice and the water will become milky. Pour out the water and fill the bowl with fresh water.
- This time, allow to sit for about a half hour.
- Again, move the water around with your hand until the water becomes white and milky. Pour away the white water and fill up the bowl again.
- Now repeat the process as many times as required until the water is clear.
- Pour about 3 tablespoons of milk into a cup and place in the microwave for about 25 seconds until the milk is hand hot.
- Put the saffron threads in the milk and set aside to infuse.
- In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, pour the 3 tablespoons of oil and one tablespoon of the ghee. Over medium heat, fry half of the finely chopped onion until crispy. Remove the fried onion to a paper towel to dry.
- Now throw in the spices and the rest of the onion. Fry - adding a little more oil if needed - for about five minutes or until the onion is translucent and lightly browned.
- Add the rice and about 500ml of water and cover with the lid. Bring to a boil for about ten seconds and then turn off the heat. DO NOT take the lid off of the pot. Allow the rice to sit in the covered pot for 40 minutes undisturbed.
- Just one last step to the perfect rice pilau!
- Just before serving, take the lid off, add the saffron milk, the rest of the ghee and the crispy onions and lightly stir with a fork to get rid of any clumps.
- When cooking basmati rice, it is important to to stir too vigorously as the rice grains will split and become mushy. Be careful.
- I hope you enjoy this rice pilau recipes as much as my family friends and I have. It would be great to hear from you so please leave a comment if you like.
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The wok used to make this dish was supplied by Le Creuset. It is one of the best I’ve ever used for making rice dishes and highly recommend it. You can view their complete range here.