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Pilau Rice

Pilau Rice
Pilau or Aromatic Rice

Pilau Rice is a simple variant on boiled rice. I make this most of the time when I am making rice, it adds colour and flavour to a plate of food. The recipe is basically the same as the boiled rice recipe using the first method. with a few extra ingredients.

It is quite a versatile thing - you can use different spices of even things like finely chopped mushrooms to add flavour. The yellow colour comes from turmeric or saffron, but you do not need to make it yellow even, just make it how you feel really.


This should not be confused with the dish Pilau (or pilav or pilaf or a great many other spellings). Pilau rice is a term used around the world and particularly in restaurants to describe this aromatic rice.

Pilau on the other hand is a rice dish with anywhere between a few and lots of ingredients usually cooked in the oven. It is probably Turkish in origin but there are regional variations all over Asia and the Middle east (There is even a Russian version called plov, with lamb and carrots, which is delicious). I have cooked this occassionally - It takes a while - and will do a recipe when I get round to it.

Basic Ingredients

Rice
Water
Maybe some ghee or butter
Cardamom pods
Cloves
Saffron or turmeric

Notes on Ingredients

It is good to use one of the naturally aromatic rices such as basmati or jasmine rice.

Cardamom and Cloves. - 4 or 5 each for every cup of rice

Saffron is both hideously expensive and quite hard to obtain. Use a few strands it if you can get it but ½ teaspoon of turmeric in one cup of rice gives the desired effect.

Other notes apply as for the boiled rice recipe.

Basic Method

Same as for the boiled rice recipe.
Throw the whole spices into the boiling water with the rice.

Options

Other spices you can use include

Cumin
Cinnamon
Black Cumin (shahi or kali cumin)
Fennel
Black cardamom

Don't overdo it and go adding the lot, just pick two or three. Remove big lumps like cinnamon sticks, black cardamom and cloves.

If you have trouble with rice - and I know a lot of people that do - you can use a rice cooker and these really are idiot proof. Here are a couple of links for models that I have had some experience of.:

Lloytron Rice Cooker - this is a faily basic rice cooker - not too expensice but works pretty well
Breville Rice Cooker and Steamer - a more versatile, high quiality steamer





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