Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
7 Jan 2022
3:57 pm

Recipe of the day: Classic pilaf rice

Citizen Reporter

Spruce up your usual rice by turning it into pilaf with this classic recipe. Pilaf is a versatile, one-pot rice dish ideal for midweek meals

Rice with chicken thighs, pilaf in skillet on dark background | Picture: iStock

Whether you call it, Pilau or pilaf there is no denying just how delicious and comforting this rice dish can be.

Pilaf is a rice dish of South Asian, Central Asian, and Middle Eastern origin and the recipe usually involves cooking the rice soaked in stock or broth, adding meat, spices, and other ingredients such as vegetables, and employing some technique for achieving cooked grains that do not adhere.

How to make pilaf/pilau


  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of long grain white rice
  • 2 cups of good quality chicken broth or water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon of salt


  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft and aromatic (3 minutes or so)
  3. Add the rice, after it has been rinsed thoroughly before use to remove the excess starch, stirring and toasting for a further minute or two.
  4. Stir in the broth, the bay leaf and the salt.
  5. Once the dish begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low and cover.
  6. Simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender (about 15 minutes)

Eat plain or serve with meat of your choice.

According to a Wikipedia entry, the rice dish is common cuisine of the Balkan, Caribbean, Central Asian, East African, Eastern European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and South Asian regions.

In fact, many food historians believe that pilaf is the “ancestor” of dishes such as Spanish paella and biryani.

Basmati is the preferred type of rice to use when making this dish because it is easier to prepare when the grains stay “light, fluffy and separate.” It isn’t an absolute must as other types of long-grain rice can be used.

Pilau can be cooked in water or stock.

The Wikipedia entry further explains that pilaf is usually made with meat or vegetables, but it can also be made plain which is called sade pilav in Turkish, chelo in Persian, and ruzz mufalfal in Arabic.

On special occasions, saffron may be used to give the rice a yellow colour.

This recipe was found on The Home Channel website.