Pea pilau rice, prepared with ghee and fragrant whole spices is the perfect option to accompany with meat or chicken for a dinner party or special occasion. Fluffy rice is coated in buttery ghee and spices such as cumin seeds, black cardamom and cloves which is contrasted with small bursts of sweetness from the peas.
Yay for it almost being the weekend! I hope your week is going well so far, readers. I have a recipe for pea pilau for you today. I actually prepared this a little while ago when my sister came to visit with her family. Amazingly, I managed to get some pictures in after cooking as they were running a little late so I decided to upload the recipe here on the blog.
We are true rice loving Bengalis and when expecting company, we usually prepare some sort of pilau rice dish. In the past I have uploaded chicken pilau and mutton pilau, which are meals on their own right. This pilau however contains no meat or chicken and is intended to be an accompaniment to a curry.
We paired the pilau with chicken korma, one of my sister’s favourite dishes and a recipe I hope to post as a follow up to this recipe.
My mum traditionally used to make plain pilau rice, which just ghee and some whole spices. I like to add peas for a little bit of colour and some sweetness.
As we are coming close to Ramadan, (hands up if you have started the Ramadan prep already!!) I definitely think this could be a great iftar dish to prepare. It is not spicy in heat and will go with anything, from meat to fish to vegetarian stews. Or add a dollop of yoghurt and enjoy it on its own!
As I have mentioned in previous rice recipes, to get a nice separated grain, make sure to use a high quality basmati rice. We use Tilda basmati rice to use for pilaus. Soak the rice for no more than 15 minutes and then drain. And when adding water, I like to stick to a ratio of 1.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. I use a standard coffee mug to measure this. It is proportion that is more important than the actual amounts.
I used a US cup to measure out the peas. To ensure that the peas stay bright and green in the pilau, I added some thawed frozen peas to the rice during the cooking process, when about half the water had been absorbed by the rice. I then left the peas on top and just stirred them through the rice at the end when I mixed the rice from top to bottom use a large flat spatula.
- 4 cups Basmati rice, washed and soaked for 15 minutes then drained
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 medium onion, finely sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cassia bark/cinnamon stick, snapped into pieces
- 6 cloves
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 cup and a half (approx 200g) peas
- 6 cups boiling water from kettle
- In a large pot, add ghee and allow to melt and heat up.
- Add the sliced onions and 1/4 tsp salt add allow the onion to soften on a medium heat.
- Add in all of the whole spices and leave the onions to cook until they turn golden brown for about 5-10 minutes.
- Once the onions are golden brown, add the boiling water from the kettle and allow it to come to a rolling boil.
- Once the water is bubbling, add 1-2 tsp of salt, add the drained rice to the pot.
- Cover and leave the rice to cook for about 5-10 minutes.
- When the water is about halfway absorbed, add in the frozen peas. Leave the peas to sit on top of the rice and do not stir them in as it may break the rice.
- Cover and leave the rice to cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the rice is cooked through.
- After all of the water has been fully absorbed ad the rice is fully cooked through, check salt to taste and season if necessary. Use a large flat spatula or spoon to mix the rice from top to bottom and distribute the peas throughout.
- Leave to rest for about 10-15 minutes then serve.
- I used the same coffee mug to measure the rice and the water.
- To measure the peas, I used a standard US cup.