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Bengali Pilau Rice

Cuisine: Indian
Courses: Side dish, Starters and appetizers
Serves: 1 people

Recipe Ingredients

3 tablespoons 45mlSultanas
2 cups 320g / 11ozBasmati rice
25   Peanuts - (unprepared)
4   Indian bayleaves - (to 5)
1   Ginger
20   Cardamom seeds
6   Cinnamon sticks (small)
1 tablespoon 15mlSugar - (or), to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons 7.5mlSalt - (or), to taste
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlTurmeric
1/4 lb 113g / 4ozDanish butter - (plus)

Recipe Instructions

Forget that multicoloured stuff served in your local Indian Takeaway - this is the real thing! Almost a meal in itself this really does have to be tasted to be believed. It is, of course, also a perfect accompliment to almost any other good Bengali food. For this Pilau to taste its best do use a good rice; there is none better than Basmati from the Himilayan foothills.


Prepare the whole shelled peanuts by soaking them in hot water for 1/2 hour and then removing the skins.

The Cardomon seeds and Cinnamon sticks can be used whole in this recipe, but if you are able to powder them using a small mortar and pestle then you will get even more flavour.

Skin the ginger and chop it into small strips.

Wash the rice twice in cold water.


Add plenty of water to the rice; at least twice the depth of the rice in a large saucepan. Sart cooking it over a medium heat and add a little Tumeric to the water. After about 20 minutes the outer part of the rice grains should be soft, but the inner core still hard; when the grains have reached this stage take the pan off the stove and drain off the water using a collinder.

Melt the butter in another saucepan. Add the peanuts and heat until they turn a little brown. Next add the Sultanas and heat until they puff up (about 1 minute), then the bayleaves. Next the ginger is added and fried until it browns; followed by the crushed or whole cinnamen and cardomin .Fry the mixture together whilst mixing it for about 1 minute.

Take the saucepan off the heat and now add the rice. Put a lid on the saucepan and shake the pan in circular tossing movement to mix it all together; as an alternative you can simply and gently stir it all together useing a woodern spoon. Lastly add salt and sugar to taste and mix the dish with more tossing.

You now have a delicious Pilau rice ready to serve.

Anita Pal's Bengali Cookery Page


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