Basmati Pilaff

Recipe by Pippa Mattei

Serves 6-8


  • 500g basmati rice
  • 100g butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 cardamom pods, split open
  • 3 cloves
  • 3-6 thinly sliced strips lemon zest
  • 1 litre boiling chicken stock or water
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. 
  2. Rinse the rice well and drain.
  3. In a large casserole melt two-thirds of the butter and sauté the onion for about 5 mins. 
  4. Add the rice, stir well, then add the herbs, whole spices and lemon zest and cook for one minute. 
  5. Pour in the boiling stock or water and mix into the rice, along with the salt and pepper.
  6. Cover and bake for 25 mins. 
  7. Leave to stand for 5 mins, then remove the lid and fork through the remaining butter until the rice is fluffy and separated.

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet Today, May, 2016.

More in Food