Spiced Pilau Rice

Spiced Pilau Rice

Bowl of spiced pilau rice

Bowl of spiced pilau rice

Quick info

  • Recipe difficulty - medium
  • Preparation time - 15 minutes
  • Cooking time - 15 minutes
  • Serves - 4
  • Dietary - Vegetarian Gluten free
  • Allergens -


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


Step 1

Place the rice into a bowl and cover with cold water, moving it around with your hand

Step 2

Carefully empty the water from the bowl by placing a hand over the top and tipping to the side

Step 3

Cover the rice again with fresh water and repeat a few more times until the water becomes more clear

Step 4

Tip the rice into a sieve and place over the bowl to drain well

Step 5

Heat the oil in the frying pan and add the sliced shallots

Step 6

Fry on a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring now and then until golden brown

Step 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

Step 8

Crumble the stock cube into the measuring jug before adding 570ml of boiling water and a heaped teaspoon of ground turmeric, stir well

Step 9

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter before adding the cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon and bayleaf, if using

Step 10

Gently fry for 10 seconds before adding the rice and stock

Step 11

Bring to the boil before reducing the heat to low and placing a lid on top

Step 12

Cook for around 10-12 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice tastes tender

Step 13

Remove the lid and fork through the rice, removing the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods before serving

Nutrition per serving portion (serves 4)

Each portion provides on average

Energy 707kj 169kcal 8.45%

Fat 5.92g 8%

Saturates 2.2g 11%

Carbohydrates 27.3g 27%

Sugars 4.67g 5%

Salt 0.79g 13%

Protein 4.92g Low

Fibre 3.6g Med

Food Value













Vitamin a

Vitamin c

Vitamin d

Vitamin e




Pantothenic acid






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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