Pilau Rice

Pilau rice is one of the base dishes for any curry. But here I need to draw a line between restaurant style pilau rice, and traditional pilau rice. Restaurant style is a lot quicker – and cheaper – to make.

This recipe makes 4 to 5 portions to serve with a nice curry, or a base for a very large pot of biryani.

  • 350g/12.3oz basmati rice, well rinsed, soaked for 30 minutes, drained
  • 650ml/22oz water
  • 1.5tsp cooking oil
  • 0.5tsp salt
  • 1.5tsp ginger/garlic paste (*see note*)
  • 0.75 cinnamon stick
  • 9 whole green cardamom
  • 6 Asian bay leaves(*see note*)
  • 7 cloves
  • 1.5 star anise
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 0.75 tsp turmeric
  • Add all ingredients into a pot. Stir just to combine. Cover pot. Put over medium high heat until the water boils. Turn heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes. Once the time is up take off the heat and gently fluff the rice with a fork.

    Serve immediately.

    INGREDIENT NOTE
    Asian bay leaf – called tej patta, this is a different thing from the European bay leaf. European bay is a laurel, tej is the leaf of the cassia plant that provides most of the cinnamon crop. The tej leaf has 3 veins on the underside and smells slightly of cinnamon.
    Ginger garlic paste – you can make it yourself from scratch with equal weights of ginger and garlic with just enough oil to make a pourable but thick paste. I buy it from a local Indian/Pakistani grocery supply store because they sell it way cheaper than I can make it.

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