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Basmati Rice Pillau

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  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick, crumbled
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon light vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste



  • Wash the rice in cool water until the water runs clear. Put the rice in 2 cups of cool water to soak for 20 minutes.
  • Strain the rice and put the remaining water into saucepan and heat. Leave rice to dry in strainer. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • While rice is drying, dice carrots and onions and set aside. Mix bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns, and cumin. When rice is dry, heat oil over medium-high flame in heavy, ovenproof skillet or casserole dish. Add spices.
  • When spices become fragrant, add butter and onions. Cook until onions are tender and light golden brown. Add carrots, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice, and cook, stirring very gently for 5 minutes. Add salt and heated water, bringing it to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until water on top of rice has boiled off.
  • Cover tightly and cook in oven for 20 minutes at 350°F. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve.
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