Pilau rice

Pilau rice

By
From
The Curry Guy
Serves
4

Pilau rice is one of those dishes I insist on cooking with ghee. I also prefer to steam it, as the flavour of the spices infuses better with the rice. If you are cooking for a large group, you might be better off frying cold cooked basmati rice, as in the fried rice recipe.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
370g basmati rice
3 tablespoons milk
pinch saffron threads
3 tablespoons ghee
6 green cardamom pods, lightly bruised
5cm piece of cinnamon stick or cassia bark
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
750ml cold water or unsalted chicken stock
2 indian bay leaves (cassia leaves)
salt

Method

  1. Put the uncooked rice in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Swirl the water around with your hands; it will become milky from the rice starch. Pour the water out and add fresh water and repeat until the water is almost clear. About five times should do the job. Leave the rice to soak in the last batch of fresh water for about 30 minutes, then drain.

  2. While the rice is soaking, heat the milk in a small pan until it begins to simmer. Take off the heat and stir in the saffron. Leave to infuse for about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the ghee over a medium-high heat in a saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid. When good and hot and beginning give off a nutty aroma, toss in the whole spices and cook for about 30 seconds until they become fragrant. Add the onion and sizzle for about 5 minutes until it is translucent and soft.
  4. Add the garlic to the pan, followed by the drained rice. Stir this all up so that the rice is evenly coated in the ghee. Pour in the water or stock, add the bay leaves, then cover the pan. When the rice begins to boil and the water foams, remove from the heat and let it sit, covered and undisturbed, for 40 minutes.
  5. After 40 minutes, lift the lid and pour the saffron milk mixture over the top. Carefully stir through the rice using a fork or chopstick, until the grains of rice are nice and fluffy. Don’t stir too vigorously as basmati rice has a tendency to split. Season with salt to taste and transfer to a warm bowl to serve.
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