Nothing makes a good Indian dinner into an outstanding Indian dinner to be remembered like a great rice pilau.
Done correctly, rice pilau can be eaten with your favourite curry or simply on its own. In fact I used to make this rice pilau recipe quite often in my university years when I needed to eat but still needed to ensure I had enough beer money.
Nowadays, it is the rice recipe my three kids ask for most and I usually make it for them. It’s easy and tastes fantastic.
To do it correctly, however, it is a bit time consuming. That said, if time is not on your side simply rinse your rice and forget the rather laborious rice preparation.
INGREDIENTS for Rice Pilau
250g (9 0z) Good quality Basmati Rice
1 pinch of saffron
3 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 finely chopped Spanish onion
3 black cardamom pods or 6 green cardamom pods
1 2″ cinnamon stick
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.