There are various ways of cooking Pilau rice. What we are trying to re-create here is the variety you get at most
Indian take aways with your favourite curry! It is not necessary to use food colouring. This is purely for decoration
but it does make the 'finished dish' look stunning!
Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Basmati Rice – 3 cups
- Ghee – 1½ tablespoon
- Onions, chopped – 1 medium
- Cardamoms, green – 4
- Cloves – 4
- Fennel seed – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – 1½ teaspoon
- Water, warm – 4½ cups
- Red food colouring – 2 drops.
- Yellow food colouring – 2 drops.
- Green food colouring – 2 drops.
- Wash rice thoroughly to get rid of all sediment or ‘glue’. Put your rice into a big sieve and wash it under cold water
until the water comes out of the sieve clear.
- Melt 1½ tablespoon ghee in a large saucepan and fry onions for a minute. Add cardamoms, cloves, 1 teaspoon
fennel seeds and gently stir round for a minute.
- Add rice and stir gently to ensure it is coated with ghee. Be careful not to over stir as this may break the grains. Add
1½ teaspoon salt and mix well.
- Add 4½ cups of warm water and let it cook. Reduce heat and keep stirring frequently for about 8 minutes or until all
the water has dried up.
- Transfer the rice to a casserole dish. Add a few drops of red, yellow and green food colouring (2 drops each) over
the surface of the rice.
- Transfer the rice to a pre-heated oven at 160ºC and cook for 10-12 minutes. This finishes cooking the rice and also
allows the food colouring to ‘set’.
- Take the rice out from the oven. Give it a stir with a fork and see the rice turn multi-coloured.
Use left over plain boiled basmati rice to make this dish. You can add peas, sweet corn, vegetables or dry fruits for a
Use the same measuring cup to measure rice and water!