I made this rice one day to accompany a dal that I had cooked for a rather simple meal. It’s a recipe that my mother passed on to me; she cooked it often to accompany one of her many homemade curries. I hadn’t cooked it in a while and only cooked it since I had a little time on my hands. Well, it got the Blai seal of approval and so I’ve got to share it with you! It’s a Delia Smith recipe, so, of course, measurements in the recipe are extremely precise. I chose to up some of the spices and I’ve modified the number of servings to a more realistic value; I doubt you’d be able to stretch this much rice to six servings! The two of us cleaned the pan!

Dal and Pilau Rice

As mentionned previously, this would work well alongside curries, dals, spiced vegetable dishes or even by itself! And do take this recipe as a starting point – I’ve been making other riffs on this general idea: adding peas, modifying spices, adding garam masala, etc. Any leftovers are quite nice heated up and topped with a fried egg.

Spiced Pilau Rice
adapted from a recipe by Delia Smith
serves 2-4, depending on how much rice everyone eats

2 cardamom pods
1 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
275 mL basmati rice
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
570 mL boiling water

Heat a frying pan, or saute pan, with a lid over medium heat. Lightly crush the cardamom, cumin and coriander seeds and then pour them into the pan to dry toast them for about a minute, stirring them around. Add the oil and the onion and fry until golden.

Add the rice and stir through to coat in the oil and spices. Add the boiling water, along with the cinnamon stick and bay leaf and some salt, give everything a good stir and then cover the pan. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting and let cook for 15 minutes. After the alloted time, turn off the heat, take off the lid and cover the pan with a clean tea towel for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice before serving.