Pilau Rice

Pilau Rice

There are numerous recipes for Pilau Rice. This is a simple variant that produces colourful, fragrant fluffy rice.

Perfect with any number of Indian dishes.


Quantity Item
300 grams Basmati Rice
2 Bay leaves
1 Medium cinnamon stick
Pinch Saffron
Pinch Haldi (turmeric) powder
Pinch Salt
Pinch Garam Masala

Notes on the ingredients

To cook more or less simply scale the ingredients accordingly.

The Haldi (turmeric) powder is the only particularly sensitive one as too much can impact the texture and taste.

Whole Garam Masala spices can be sprinkled in to add more depth, but it does mean the rice has bits in (such as cloves, peppercorns, etc) to eat around.

Wholegrain rice can be used instead, the cooking time roughly doubles (~20 minutes) and you need closer to 1.5x the water (450ml for 300 grams).


Step 1

Wash the rice at least twice with cold water and drain.

Step 2

Add 300ml of cold water and rice to a pan (with a well fitting lid) along with the bay leaves, cinnamon stick and spices.

Scale the water linearly with the rice - for example 150g rice requires 150ml water.

Try and use a pan which will end up at least half to two-thirds full once the rice and water are added. If it's too shallow in the pan it cooks less evenly, this is most important with smaller quantities.

Step 3

Heat the pan on high until small white bubbles start to form, this happens just before it starts to simmer (pictured below).

Step 4

As soon as the bubbles start turn the heat down as low as possible, move it to the lowest ring if you can, and cover.

Let it cook for 10 minutes then turn off the heat.

Fluff it up with a fork.

If there is any moisture left return the lid for a bit longer.

If the water to rice ratio, or timing was not quite right it can be drained.


Serve, removing the cinnamon stick and bay leaves.