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Pilau Rice Recipe

Easy to make and better than anything we've ever had at a restaurant. Reheats well in a microwave or steamer. Like all cooked rice dishes, it must be kept in the fridge.

It's an ideal accompaniment to dishes such as 'Kofte & Chorizo Hotpot' (q.v.) and as a BBQ side dish as well as the more obvious curry.

Key Features

  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Suitable for Vegans


For 4 people:

- A big pinch of Saffron threads or a little packet of Saffron powder

- 3 tablespoons (45ml) Hot Water

- 6 tablespoons (90ml) Sunflower or Groundnut Oil

- 1 medium-sized Cinnamon stick

- 6 Cardamom pods

- 4 whole Cloves

- 3 medium Onions, peeled and thinly-sliced

- 2 big or 4 medium Cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped

- 2 teaspoons (10ml) finely peeled, then chopped Ginger Root

- 250g/9oz Basmati Rice

- 600ml/1 pint Beef Stock (q.v.) or half a stock cube dissolved in water. Marigold 'Swiss Vegetable Bouillon' is ideal for a completely vegetarian dish

- a little freshly-ground Pepper


- Soak the saffron in the hot water for 15 minutes.

- Heat the oil in a deep pan over a medium heat, then add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and cloves and fry for a few minutes.

- Add the sliced onions and fry for about 10 minutes, or until golden - don't allow them to burn.

- Add the garlic, ginger and rice. Mix well, to cook the rice, then fry for 5 minutes - stirring occasionally.

- Add the stock, and bring to the boil.

- Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

- Stir in the saffron, and its liquid.

- Cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the liquid.

- Season with a little pepper, and check that there is enough salt - unless you are an addict you shouldn't need any, as the stock will be well flavoured.


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