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the best basmati rice pilaf ready to serve

The Best Basmati Rice Pilaf

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  • Author: Karen
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This basmati rice pilaf with almonds and raisins perfectly accompanies many main courses. The Hindi word basmati literally translates to “fragrant.” Your home will smell amazing.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 23 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
  • 1 cinnamon stick, approximately 2 inches
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced into fine half rings
  • 2 tablespoons slivered blanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 22/3 cups water or chicken, beef, or vegetable stock


  1. Rinse the rice by placing the dry rice in a 2-quart bowl and cover with water with a pouring spout.  Carefully pour out the dirty water leaving the rice behind. Do this five times until the water is almost clear. After the final rinse, cover the rice with 1.5 quarts of water and let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat Aromatics. Pour the oil into a medium saucepan pan or saute pan that has a tight-fitting lid.  Set over medium-high heat and when hot, place the cinnamon stick in the pan and let it sizzle for 10 seconds. Place the onions into the pan and stir fry until just turning brown. Add the almonds and stir until they are golden. Add the raisins and cook until they are plump just a few seconds.
  3. Drain the rice through a sieve and leave the sieve suspended over the bowl to drip for a few moments.
  4. Add the drained rice and salt to the pan with onions and spices. Stir very gently to mix and add the stock or water and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, turn the heat to very, very low and simmer for 22 – 25 minutes. All liquid should be absorbed.
  5. Serve. Discard cinnamon stick. Fluff rice gently with a fork and serve.

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