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Simple Pulao (Pilaf) Recipe

Simple Pulao (Pilaf) Recipe

When I was in Italy with my mom, she would turn every corner and state, “I think I smell rice.” Rice is an integral part of most Indian meals (but not Italian meals). Lucky for us, there is no shortage of basmati at the local supermarket here in the States. Shimi Rahim happened to be walking by my place when I roped her into doing a wonderfully simple pulao recipe. Shimi writes an enthnic food column on Her family hails from Bangladesh and she grew up in the great state that IS the birthplace of the Prez himself. For all you biryani addicts–when you don’t have 3 hours to spend on biryani, try this simple recipe to hold you over. And leave me a comment about how you like your pilaf.

1 tbsp oil
1/2 medium white onion sliced in long pieces
1 tsp cumin
1 1/4 inch bay leaf
1 cup rice
2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt (to taste)
1/4 cup peas (thawed)

1. Heat pan on medium flame and add oil.
2. Once oil is hot, add onions and stir for about a minute.
3. Add cumin seeds and lightly brown onions.
4. Add bay leaf and brown for about 20 seconds.
5. Stir in rice until fully coated with mixture.
6. Stir in peas.
7. Cover and cook on medium-lo for about 20 minutes.
7. Serve and don’t forget to enjoy the aroma!

Spotlight on Shimi

Q. If a culinary genie appeared, what would you have him make for you?
A. Croissants. I remember poring over the New York Times Cookbook as a child and marveling at the technique used to make puff pastry. Chilled bricks of butter are worked painstakingly into flaky layers of dough = pure magic.
Q. What is the single most important element of success?
A. Hard work. Talent is only 10% of success. Getting the work done is the other 90% and is the part that matters most.
Q. If you could give yourself a piece of advice 10 years ago, what would it be?
A. Pursue your passions and follow your dreams. Trust in your inherent ability to know what you want, treat fear as a friend, and go for it!

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