Pilaf Rice

Riz Pilaf

Essentially all you need for this recipe is rice, oil and water but I have given you the classic pilaf recipe below which gives a yummy flavoursome fluffy rice. This is one of the first things we were taught at cooking school and I have never gone wrong following this recipe. So follow it to the letter and the results will be excellent. The ratio of rice to liquid is always 1 : 1.5


1 cup of long grain rice

2 cups water or vegetable stock

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 small onion

1 bay leaf.


Peel and finely chop the onion.

Heat the oil and some butter in heavy based pot on a moderate heat.

Put the water or stock on to boil in a separate pot. (2 cups will allow for evaporation as you will only need 1.5 cups.)

When the butter has melted add the chopped onion and allow to sweat. The onions will become translucent after a few minutes of gently frying and stirring. Do not brown them.

Add the raw rice to the pot and fry the rice, continuously stirring so it doesn’t stick tothe pot or burn.

Keep stirring for a few minutes and you will notice the colour and texture of the rice change slightly.

Add 1.5 cups of boiling water or stock to the pot and it should rapidly boil. If it does not boil straight away, bring it to the boil.

Once boiling, immediatley reduce the heat to a very, very, very low flame.

Make sure all the rice on the walls of the pot is scraped into the water.

Add the bay leaf and seal the pot as tightly as you can. (I usually cover the top of the pot with a clean kitchen towell /tea towel and seal the pot with the lid. This keeps as much of the stem inside the pot. For an extra seal, you can also use a cartouche, which is a paper lid that touches the surface of the water and then the the above method with kitchen towel and lid is used.

Put your timer on for 17 minutes and do not lift the lid until the timer goes off. Resist your temptation to do so.

Once the 17 minutes have elapsed, remove from the heat and remove the rice from the pot into a large open bowl. (This will ensure that the rice does not continue to cook.)

Add a small knob of butter (optional) , season to taste with salt and pepper and fluff up with a stirring spoon.

Remove the bayleaf and there you have riz pilaf.

NB. if you notice that the some rice has stuck to the bottom of the pot, you either have put in too little water or your heat was not low enough or you lifted the lid. (which I told you not to do, Naughty).