South Indian Cookbook

Rice Pilaf Recipe
or Pulao

This Rice pilaf recipe is the little brother to the grand Biryanis which is a heritage from the Murghal empire. The pilaf or pulao or pilau, is a savory dish laced with spices and can be mixed with vegetables and meat, preferably lamb. Here is a base recipe for pilaf which can be built upon.


2 cups rice (I prefer Basmati)

1/2 cup ghee or clarified butter

3 green cardamom pods

2 whole cloves

1 inch cinnamon stick

black pepper (to taste)

1/2 cup carrots, small diced

1/4 cup peas

1/2 cup onion, small diced

Pick through the rice to clean. Wash the rice until the water runs clear.

Heat the ghee in a heavy saucepan. Add cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, black pepper and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the onions and sauté until they are translucent. Add 4 cups of hot water, salt to taste, rice and vegetables and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium low and cover until the rice is fully cooked and the water is absorbed.

For a wonderful savory rice you can use vegetable or chicken stock instead of hot water.

If you liked this recipe, search here for more great rice pilaf recipes.