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Vegan Pilau Rice

Vegan Pilau Rice, an easy recipe for perfect fluffy spiced rice. Perfect to serve with Indian Curries.

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Vegan Pilau Rice

An easy recipe for perfect fluffy spiced rice. Perfect to serve with Indian Currys.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Soaking Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 420 g basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • ¼ teaspoon black cardamom seeds optional
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 10 g minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 830 ml boiling water


  • Wash the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes.
  • Have 830ml of boiling water ready, either from a kettle or a pot.
  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan with a lid over medium heat. Once hot add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise and black cardamom seeds. Cook until the seeds start to pop, around 30 seconds.
  • Add the diced onion and cook until soft and translucent, around 6 minutes.
  • Now add the minced garlic and ginger. Cook for a further 1 minute.
  • Add the turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder, salt and pepper. Mix to coat the onion.
  • Drain the rice then add to the pan. Cook the rice in the dry pan, stirring continuously until it starts to clump, around 1 minute.
  • Pour in the boiling water and mix to incorporate everything. Bring to a boil and cover. Boil for 8 minutes then turn the heat down to the lowest setting on your hob, consider moving the pot to the smallest ring on your hob. Let the rice steam and continue to cook for 15 minutes.
  • Taste and check the rice is cooked and there is no water left on the bottom of the pan. If so, cover the pan again, turn off the heat and let the rice steam for a further 5 minutes. If there is water left continue to cook on the lowest setting checking again in 5 minutes.
  • Fluff up the rice with a fork, discard the whole spices and serve.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mikeronm or tag #theveganplanetkitchen!

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