Basmati Pilaf 1

Basmati Pilaf


I love to eat Indian food so I had to learn how to cook it.  Luckily I became friends with Shanthi, an Indian cook who loves to teach!  Shanthi is a modern Indian cook who has adapted her mother’s traditional recipes to be more time friendly and easier to prepare.  This is a simple basmati rice and veggie pilaf that tastes great as a side dish to any type of food.

Basmati Pilaf

Basmati Pilaf


  • 1 1/4 cups basmati rice
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I always use coconut oil but Shanthi likes olive oil)
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds (if you can't find these, don't worry it is still delicious without them)
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 cups water (or vegetable broth if desired)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup nuts of your choice (pistachio, slivered almond and walnuts all taste great!)
  • 2 - 4 Tbs chopped cilantro, parsley or mint for garnish


  • Wash the rice by running water over it in a sieve until the water runs clear, then drain and set aside. In a large shallow pan heat the oil to medium and fry the onion, garlic and carrot for 2 -3 minutes. Stir in the drained rice and all of the spices and cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly to make sure all of the grains of rice become coated in the oil.
  • Pour in the water or stock if using, add the bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste (I start with 1/2 tsp of salt and a few twists of the pepper grinder).
  • Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 12 minutes or until the water is no longer visible above the rice and small steam holes are beginning to form. Remove the pan from the heat but do not lift the lid for another 5 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, remove the bay leaf and 4 cardamom pods. Stir in the nuts and check for seasoning (you may want to add more salt and/or pepper at this point) then scatter the chopped parsley or cilantro across the top.
  • This dish keeps well and can be made ahead and reheated.

This post is participating in Heart and Soul Blog Hop, Fat Tuesday

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  1. Your recipe sounds delicious! I’ve featured you on my blog, at Hearth and Soul today. Thanks for sharing!

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