With this easy Indian rice you will never need to order yellow rice from the takeout again. Serve this with your favorite curry for a delicious side dish that takes minimal effort. Fragrant fluffy basmati rice, packed with flavor and all cooked on the stovetop, this Indian pilaf (or Indian pilau) is so much better than takeout and so easy to make at home.
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For the rice
1tablespoonsalt- see note 1
3cardamom pods, lightly crushed- see note 2
2inchcinnamon stick(5 cm)
For the onions
2onions- see note 3
½teaspoonblack mustard seeds
Rinse the rice in cold water at least three times to remove any excess starch. (see note 4)2 cups basmati rice
Place the rice in a bowl and cover with cold water, let it soak for 30 minutes to an hour.
Start on the onions
Peel and slice the onions into thin half-moons.2 onions
Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a large skillet or frying pan.3 tablespoon oil 1 tablespoon butter
Cook the onions over low heat until they have softened and are starting to caramelize. Add in the mustard seeds and stir gently.½ teaspoon mustard seeds
While the onions are cooking, pour the water into a large pan and bring back to the boil. Add the salt, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom (if using). Stir to dissolve the salt.8 cups boiling water 1 tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon turmeric 2 cloves 3 cardamon pods 2” cinnamon stick
Add the rice to the water and stir gently. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8-12 minutes until the rice is just cooked. (there will be lots of water left in the pan)
Drain the rice using a sieve, or fine holed colander, remove the whole spices, and set the drained rice to one side until the onions are cooked.
Add the drained rice into the onions mixture and gently stir to combine.
Check the seasoning and add more salt as required.
If you are not soaking the rice then add only 2 teaspoons of salt to the water.
If you can't find cardamon pods, just leave them out.
Any onions will work here, I usually use brown onions, but red or white onions will work too.
I know it is an extra step, but I really do recommend rinsing the rice and then letting it soak for 30 minutes to an hour. It makes the rice so fluffy and keeps every grain separate. It also means the rice cooks more quickly and evenly.
How to rinse rice Place the rice in a bowl and cover with water. Use your hand to turn the rice over in the bowl, be gentle as you don't want to break the grains. Carefully drain the water away and repeat this process twice more. Once you have rinsed the rice three times, use a fine-mesh sieve to drain the rice. To ensure you have washed away as much starch as possible, place the sieve under the flow of running water for 10-15 seconds. Leave the rice to drain dry.