Pilau or Pulao (Fragrant Rice)

"A fragrant layered rice mixture to serve with the meal. From lcbo.ca"
photo by Chef PotPie photo by Chef PotPie
photo by Chef PotPie
Ready In:
1hr 5mins




  • Soak basmati rice in water to cover for 30 minutes. Drain.
  • While rice is soaking, heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion and salt, and sauté for 10 minutes or until brown and crisp.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil, add rice and boil for 3 minutes. Drain.
  • Butter a heavy ovenproof saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Divide rice in three. Place a layer of rice on base. Scatter over half of mint, coriander and garam masala and half of onions. Repeat layers ending with rice. Pour over lemon juice. Stir together saffron and milk in a bowl. Pour over rice. Cover with a circle of parchment paper and the lid.
  • Place in oven and steam for 30 to 40 minutes or until rice is tender.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. Galley Wench
    This was great! I'm new at cooking Indian food and was a little apprehensive of the process, but I didn't have to worry, because it was perfect . . . fragrant, fluffy and fabulous! Thanks for sharing. UPDATE 8/31: Prepared this dish again last night and it did not disappoint. Made it to go with Recipe #247639 . . . DH thought he was back in India again! Love this cooking method! Thanks again, Evelyn.
  2. Annacia
    Excellent recipe! I simply love it. The seasonings are wonderful together. I had to use 1 tsp of dried mint as fresh isn't available just before Christmas but everything else was by the recipe. It turned out fluffy and tender and the fragrance was to die for. I served it with fish but it would be a grand match with chicken or lamb or in a vegetarian meal. Thanks ev for a most enjoyable dish.
  3. Sharon123
    Lovely flavors, I enjoyed! I left out the saffron, didn't have. Thank you Evelyn!
  4. Chef PotPie
    You've done it once again, Evelyn,I just love your recipes! I've cooked many kinds of rice, but maybe this was my first time with basmati, it smelled so good while cooking. It almost smelled like popcorn...or maybe we're just craving popcorn! LOL. Amyway, the crispy brown onions are the key to this for us. The mint, (I never even knew I liked it in a savory way, live and learn!), was So good. I have the cilantro gene, so left that out, used the last of my saffron, and it doesn't need any of this, in my humble opinion. The mint and the garam masala with the lemon and milk? HEAVEN! Thanks, Evelyn, for another winner and keeper. YUM!



Find More Recipes