Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Quick Pilau Rice

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

This recipe is a quick pilau recipe. 

Pilau is one of the signature dishes of Pakistan and is usually made with lamb or chicken. Every Pakistani household has their own recipe.
This is my mothers quick pilau recipe. This is made without meat but still has that same pilau flavour. It is especially good when you have last minute guests over!

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Basmati Rice
2. Sunflower Oil
3. Cumin Seeds
4. An Onion
5. Green Chilli
6. Salt
7. Water

Bismillah, let's begin!

Wash 3 cups Basmati Rice until its water runs clear. Soak it with plenty of water for at least half an hour before you to cook it.

Heat 4 tablespoons Sunflower Oil in a large saucepan.

Take 3 teaspoons Cumin Seeds.

Add them to the hot oil and let them darken and start popping.

Peel 1 large Onion.

Take 1 Green Chilli.

Slice the onion and chilli and add to the hot oil. Add 2 teaspoons Salt.

 Brown the onions until they go dark brown. The darker you brown them, the darker the rice will be. It's all up to you!

 Now add 5 and 1/2 cups Water.

And bring it to the boil.

Drain the rice.

Add the rice to the pan. Bring to the boil again and put on a medium heat. Let the rice soak up the water and then put on the lowest heat. Cover it and leave for 20 minutes.
Uncover and turn the rice over and check that it is cooked.

And serve!
Serve with a curry or just have it with yoghurt chutney!

Full Written Recipe:

Quick Pilau Rice

·     3 cups Basmati Rice
·     4 tablespoons Sunflower Oil
·     3 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
·     1 large Onion, peeled and sliced
·     1 Green Chilli, chopped
·     2 teaspoons Salt
·     5 and ½ cups Water


1.  Wash the rice until its water runs clear. Soak in plenty of water for at least ½ hour before cooking.

2.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the cumin seeds and fry until they start to pop.

3.  Add the onion, green chilli and salt. Fry the onions until they are dark brown.

4.  Add the water, and bring to the boil.

5.  Drain the rice and add to the pan. Bring to the boil again, and then leave on a medium heat until the rice has soaked up all the water.

6.  Then, place on the lowest heat. Cover and cook the rice for 20 minutes.

7.  Uncover and serve!

You May Also Like:

Keema Biryani

Egg Fried Rice

Keep me in your duas, please,


Spice Enthusiast


  1. Thank you for sharing all your recipes. I am a white women married to an Indian Muslim with a one year one old. I use your recipes everyday for dinner and tea. I would truly be lost with out any of your dishes.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! It means a lot - I am so happy that my recipes have been helping you out. :)

  2. Is it true... I have been told by my partner that if you fry the rice before adding water, they are more likely to hold their shape (not break or become sticky), so do you think after the onion is fried to my liking then can I add the rice and heat them in the oil a bit and then add the water-bring to a boil- and go from there with your recipe? I tried doing this but unfourtunately the bottom layer didn't survive, but I think it's because I let the rice sit on medium heat too long (as I was distracted by other things I was making)...last time was a disaster too...I forgot to let the water dry, and turned down the heat/covered the rice and then I was surprised (duh!!!) why the rice wasn't cooked properly. This is a very frustrating learning curve. I will get it eventually though I'm sure. At least the second to last time I mentioned (the bottom layer burned) the rice that survived was PERFECT!!! Anyways, I have been using your post for inspiration for the last few times but then my phone broke and I lost this website! Just realised I had bookmarked it on my computer too!!!! Love your blog. Thank you.

    1. Hi Troodi! I'm sure your method would be fine - just keep an eye on the medium heat! ;) Don't worry, I go through many frustrating learning curves everyday. It's what makes us better cooks! So glad you enjoy the blog. Thank you for this comment! :)

  3. Assalamu alaykum, I have been looking for a simple pilau recipe for a while. Finally I have found one Alhamdulillah. I'm not what you call a natural cook and so this will help me a lot. JazakAllah khair. Wassalam

    1. Wa alaikumus salaam! So glad you enjoyed the pilau! :)

  4. Hi! Tried this recipe to go with some of your great curries from this blog. We found that the rice was a bit mushy at the end. Why can't we get rice right!?! Is basmati from a supermarket different to other basmati? It seemed really over cooked. Any ideas to help?

    1. So sad to hear that you ended up with mushy rice. There are differences in the quality of some Basmati rice compared to others. We like to use Tilda or Pearl basmati. We've never bought rice from the supermarket, only in bulk from the local Asian stores.

  5. Assalamu Alaykum! Hope you are well. It was my first time in the kitchen alone and I came across your website and this recipe. Initially, being 16, I had no interest in cooking but your easy methods helped me see cooking in a different perspective. It was enjoyable and everything turned out really well Alhamdulillah. Your blog is amazing mashallah and may Allah reward you for how many of us you've helped, including me! Jazakallah khair.

    1. Wa alaikumus salaam! I'm so glad my blog has been of use to you and made your cooking experience a little easier. Ameen to all your duas and jazakallah khair for all your kind words! :)

  6. If I use 2 cups of rice how many cups of water

  7. As Salam Aleikum, loving your recipes. As an Eastern European I am always trying new recipes. And finding a lot of inspiration at your chanel. I was wondering before I add rice can I brown some chicken thighs?

  8. I made this yesterday for the first time and it came out perfect!
    Simple but so delicious. Thank you.

  9. between you and the curry kid, my life good.

  10. What if I’m making this for only 3 people what are the measurements for rice and water please ?

    Also do you have a quick lamb pilau recipe sister ?
    Thank you 🙏🏼 I think you saved my marriage 🤣


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