Indian Pilau is a fancy rice full of flavors and textures! You got salty, crunchy, soft, sweet and in one dish. Looks good, taste good and smells really good too!
This recipe brings to mind a story with Kundalini Yoga master, Yogi Bhajan. The first time Yogi Bhajan came to Brazil to teach Kundalini yoga he stayed at our house. He came with his entourage of secretaries of course. My parents prepared to receive them and made a feast of large quantities of food to feed everyone. However, my mother discovered that those yogis had quite the appetite and the food she believed would feed everyone, including her children, was gone before our family sat down to eat. Like any mother she was upset because she needed to feed her children and now there was no food. My mother, bless her soul, was not afraid to speak her mind and went to Yogi Bhajan and complained about it. What happened next is to me is proof of a real humble Master. He calmly asked her what was left in the pantry. She said “not much! Just some rice and condiments”. He asked her to bring the rice to him and began to cook. My parents had prepared to serve him and here he was serving us! My mom said that was the best rice she ever had still to this day. She could not believe that something so simple could be so good. Yogi Bhajan was a GREAT chef! Try this Indian pilau and you won’t be disappointed.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 medium yellow onions, sliced
- 1 cup raw basmati rice
- 1 or 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons seedless raisins
- 1 tablespoon almonds, chopped
- few small pieces stick cinnamon
- few cardamom pods
- black peppercorns
- Fry onions in a little of the butter until golden.
- Add rice with remaining butter and cook until it absorbs most of the butter. Stir frequently.
- Add remaining ingredients except saffron and cover with hot water. Simmer until rice is tender. Remove from pan and put in oven to evaporate extra water.
- Sprinkle with saffron 10 minutes before serving.
To start off I was really glad that I live in a house where we enjoy cooking all kinds of exotic foods so I actually had all the ingredients at home. Chances are that if you don’t cook Indian food you do not have some of these spices laying around and might now even know what some of them are. Thank goodness for google! You can find out what they are and look up the nearest health food store and/or international specialty food store. Here in Phoenix you can buy most of the ingredients at Whole Foods/Sprouts/Trader Joe’s type of store but for the Saffron, Cardamom you might need to go to a place like Lee Lee International Market or Baiz Market. Making the dish was easy for me and the result was so gratifying! I was very happy eating it! Use only a little saffron. It is a potent and EXPENSIVE spice.