Pilaf, pilau or ‘seasoned rice’

Posted by Ed Fri, 29 Apr 2011 09:56:00 GMT

A pilaf or pilau (or ‘seasoned rice’ as my Mum calls it) is made by first coating rice with oil or fat before cooking it with seasonings and / or added ingredients.

As an example, here's a recipe for a ‘seasoned rice’ with prawns, fish and peas (serves 4 people as a main course).


  • 2 mugs of white basmati or long grain rice
  • 2 large onions, in fine dice
  • vegetable, fish or chicken stock (or stock cube)
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 9 fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp hot sauce, e.g. Encona
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ glass white wine or vermouth
  • ½ glass olive oil
  • 4 mugs of water (i.e. twice the quantity of rice)
  • 200g white fish, defrosted, in large dice
  • 150g prawns, defrosted
  • 100g frozen peas


  • sweat the diced onion in the olive oil for 10 mins until soft
  • add the rice and ensure well coated with oil
  • add the seasonings (paprika, fennel, hot sauce, bay leaf)
  • add the stock and wine and water (dissolving the stock cube if using one)
  • bring to the boil, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and turn down to minimum
  • wait 20 mins (25 mins if using long-grain rice) without removing the lid
  • add the fish, prawns and peas and add salt to taste. Replace lid.
  • wait 5 mins
  • test that fish is cooked, then serve

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