Indian restaurant-style pilau rice, with a mild aromatic flavour, only takes 5 minutes longer to make than regular boiled rice.
Pep up that homemade curry with this easy recipe for vibrant yellow pilau rice.
The yellow colour of this rice is so bright that I find it almost impossible to photograph!
You can see I've gone for a dark set-up above, a light set-up further down the post and a blue colour scheme with the curry at the end.
A highly frustrating photoshoot (and I'm still not happy with the pics).
It's a good job I get to eat it at the end. Food always calms me down 😋
I love the gentle aromatic flavour of this vibrant rice. Super easy to make, but it adds a little something special to the dinner table on curry night.
📋 What do we need?
I'm using basmati rice for this, but you can replace with long-grain white rice if you like.
Be sure to use white rice (brown rice takes longer to cook and you won't get the same yellow colour). Also, don't use easy-cook rice - or you won't get that nice fluffy rice texture.
🔪 How to make Pilau Rice
**Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.**
- Soften chopped onion in a saucepan with a little oil and butter.
- Stir in those lovely spices (I'm using cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cloves and turmeric), plus a couple of bay leaves before adding the uncooked rice.
- Add boiling water to the pan, then stir, cover and cook on a VERY LOW heat for 20 minutes.
Remove the lid, fluff up the rice and serve.
📺 Watch how to make it
Pilau Rice Recipe
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp unsalted butter
- 1 small onion - - peeled and finely diced
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 6 cardamom pods - (*see tip)
- 6 cloves
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 bay leaves
- 300 g (1 ⅓ cups) dried basmati rice
- 600 ml (2 ½ cups) boiling water
- Heat the oil and butter in a pan until the butter melts.
- Add the onion and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes until softened.
- Add in the cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, turmeric and bay leaves. Heat through, whilst stirring for a further minute.
- Add the rice and stir to coat in the spices.
- Add the boiling water, stir once and bring back to the boil, then place a lid on the pan and turn the heat down to very low (I use the lowest heat if cooking on gas, or setting 5 (of 10) for induction). Cook for 20 minutes.
- Once cooked, turn the heat off. Leave the lid for a few minutes, then remove the lid, fluff the rice using a fork and serve. You can discard the cardamom and bay leaves.
- Refrigerate it as quickly as possible
- Don't store for more than 24 hours in the fridge, and
- Thoroughly reheat it.
- Spread the rice out it out in a large dish or tray to quickly cool, then transfer to a covered container.
- Freeze it as soon as it reaches room temperature.
- Defrost in the refrigerator overnight
- Thoroughly reheat it in the microwave.
Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.