Spiced Pilau Rice

Recipe by Joe Jones,medium Prep: 15 minutes,Cooking: 15 minutes,Serves: 4

A lovely basic pilau rice recipe that can be easily adapted, adding any combinations of vegetables, spices or meat.

Great as a simple side or made into a more substantial main course such as vegetable or meat biryani.




  • 340g Basmati rice
  • 8 large shallots or small onions, thinely sliced
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable (rapeseed) oil
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • One 5cm/2inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamon pods, cracked
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground turmeric


  • Bowl
  • Chopping board
  • Kitchen scales
  • Knife
  • Measuring jug
  • Medium saucepan
  • Normal plate
  • Sieve
  • Slotted spoon
  • Wooden spoon



  1. Place the rice into a bowl and cover with cold water, moving it around with your hand
  2. Carefully empty the water from the bowl by placing a hand over the top and tipping to the side
  3. Cover the rice again with fresh water and repeat a few more times until the water becomes more clear
  4. Tip the rice into a sieve and place over the bowl to drain well
  5. Heat the oil in the frying pan and add the sliced shallots
  6. Fry on a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring now and then until golden brown
  7. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the pan and place on a plate on top of a couple of sheets of kitchen paper to drain
  8. Crumble the stock cube into the measuring jug before adding 570ml of boiling water and a heaped teaspoon of ground turmeric, stir well
  9. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter before adding the cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon and bayleaf, if using
  10. Gently fry for 10 seconds before adding the rice and stock
  11. Bring to the boil before reducing the heat to low and placing a lid on top
  12. Cook for around 10-12 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice tastes tender
  13. Remove the lid and fork through the rice, removing the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods before serving


  • Energy

    707kj 169kcal 8.45%
  • Fat

    5.92g 8%
  • Saturates

    2.2g 11%
  • Sugars

    4.67g 5%
  • Salt

    0.79g 13%


Rice is a great source of starchy (complex) carbohydrate, providing our bodies with slow release energy and important nutrients such as vitamins minerals and fibre.


Onions contain a type of dietary fibre known as a prebiotic. This type of fibre is used by the beneficial microbes naturally living in our gut, which are important to our overal health.

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