Pilau RiceThis recipe serves 4, and  was inspired by our friend, Mridula Baljekar, award winning author of 30 Indian cookbooks. Here are the ingredients:

  • 225g/8oz/1 cup of basmati rice
  • 60ml/4 tbsp of oil substitute using bay leaves below as spice of choice
  • 25g/1 oz cashew nuts
  • 25g/1 oz seedless raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2.5cm/1 in piece of cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large onion finely sliced
  • 5 ml/ 1 tsp ginger puree
  • 5ml/ 1 tsp garlic puree
  • 1-2 green chillies, chopped(seeded if you like)
  • 2.5 ml/ 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 75g/ 3 oz/1/2 cup carrots cut into sticks
  • 110g/ 4 oz corn kernels or baby corn halved
  • 75g/3 oz/1/2 cup green beans, cut into 2.5cm/1 in. lengths
  • 5ml/ 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 50 ml/2fl oz/3 tbsp almond milk or your choice non-dairy milk

Here are the directions

  1. Wash the rice until the water runs clear and soak it for 20 minutes.  Leave the rice to drain in a colander.
  2. In a heavy pan, heat the oil substitute over a medium/low heat and brown the cashew nuts (with the substitute oil they may just soften). Drain on paper towel. Add the raisins and fry until they are softened.  Drain on paper towel. This will give the raisins a luscious and superb taste.
  3. Add the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves to the remaining oil, then add the onion, ginger, garlic and chillies, increase the heat slightly and fry until the onion is golden brown, stirring regularly.
  4. Stir in the turmeric and add all the vegetables and the salt.  Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the rice.  Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.  Pour 450ml/16fl oz./ 1 1/2 cups  hot water and bring it to the boil.  Allow to boil steadily for 2 minutes then reduce the heat to low.
  5.  Sprinkle the milk evenly over the rice and cover the pan tightly.  Cook for 1o-12 minutes.  Remove from the heat and leave the pan undisturbed, without lifting the lid, for 8-10 minutes.  Fluff up the rice and serve, garnished with the nuts and raisins.  A plain non dairy yogurt can accompany this dish if you like.

This recipe came from Mridula’s most recent (2021) book, “Indian Vegan & Vegetarian: 200 Traditional plant-based Recipes.” but was modified to be oil free and fully vegan. You can use any plant-based milk substitute that suits your taste.