One-pot Pilau Rice

This One-pot Pilau Rice is delicious as an accompaniment to a curry.

One-pot Pilau Rice
Image credit: Shutterstock

This One-pot Pilau Rice is delicious as an accompaniment to a curry, or you can add cooked chicken, beef, pork or prawns to make it a more substantial dish on its own.


  • 450 g basmati rice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • large knob of butter
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  • pinch saffron threads – as this is quite expensive, it can be excluded, or substitute with turmeric which gives a nuttier, less aromatic flavour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 600 ml hot vegetable stock
  • freshly ground sea salt to taste


The secret to fluffy rice is to rinse it well first. Although this may seem tedious, it really does pay to rinse well in cold water and then leave to soak for about 20 minutes and rinse again in fresh, cold water.

Melt the butter and cook the onion for around five minutes. Add the spices, saffron, if using, and bay leaves and cook for a further two minutes.

Add the washed rice and stir until coated in the butter. Add the stock and salt to taste, then bring to the boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and turn the heat down low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat and leave the lid on and allow the rice to continue cooking for about five minutes longer.

Simply fluff with a fork and serve.

For a complete meal, you can add some cooked chicken, beef, pork or prawns when you turn off the heat under the pan. The five minutes the rice is left to sit should be enough to warm the meat through.


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