How to make Indian pilau rice

Updated February 21, 2017

Pilau rice is a basic recipe that lends itself to many variations. Most of the ingredients are quickly stir-fried, but steam the rice with the other ingredients to create a very aromatic dish. This colourful Indian dish is simple to prepare and nutritious to eat. Serve poultry or beef when you make this Indian pilau rice side dish.

Wash and drain the rice,soak the rice in cold water for one-half hour and then drain it.

Prepare the ingredients and spices so they will be ready to put in the pan when the oil is hot. Put the water in the small pan and bring it to the boil.

Replace or add ingredients to change the taste when you make Indian pilau rice. Use garlic, ginger, nuts, almonds, pistachios or dried fruit for a richer taste.

Use a large pan suitable for frying. Put 5 tbsp of oil in the pan and heat it on a high temperature.

Add the green peas, nuts, cloves, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds and fry for two minutes. Put the shallots in the pan and fry for two more minutes, and then stir in the raisins, salt and turmeric.

Mix the drained rice in with the other frying ingredients. Hold the lid above the pot, add 1/3 cup of water; quickly put the cover on the pan and turn the heat down to low.

Wait 20 to 30 seconds and pour the rest of the water into the pan without lifting the lid any more than necessary; quickly replace the lid to keep all of the flavour and aroma in the pan. Gently simmer for 12 to 14 minutes, and don't lift the lid unless it is necessary.


Substitute brown rice for greater nutrition.

Put the rice in warm water the day before you cook it, and let it soak to promote germination, the activation of enzymes and the formation of a more complete protein.

Cook the rice pilau ingredients in chicken stock or coconut milk for rice with a richer flavour.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 cup long grain uncooked rice
  • 115 g cashew nuts
  • 5 tbsp frying oil
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 shallots sliced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 475 ml boiling water
  • Salt
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Large pan
  • Small pan
  • Colander
  • Wooden spoon
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