Author Topic: CA's Perfect Pilau Rice - Every Time! (Illustrated!)  (Read 65568 times)

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Offline Cory Ander

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CA's Perfect Pilau Rice - Every Time! (Illustrated!)
« on: November 26, 2006, 01:35 PM »
Background:

This is my recipe for Pilau Rice.  It produces perfect Pilau Rice, every time.  It involves boiling the rice, in excess water, and draining the excess water once the rice is just cooked.  This is unlike the "absorption method" where all of the water is fully absorbed into the rice.  The absorption method no doubt produces a tastier rice (and is the method that BIRs no doubt use), but I find that this method is far easier to control and produces perfect, free-flowing rice, every time, and with minimal flavour loss.

I have separated the ingredients into those that I consider "essential" (i.e. the bare minimum that I believe is necessary) and those that I consider "optional".  I personally use all of the spices and ingredients that I've specified.  However, you should feel free to omit any of the spices (or add other spices) if you so wish.

I have included photographs to illustrate each step and I hope that this proves to be helpful.

I have also included variations for Plain Boiled Basmati Rice (see note 10 below) and Pilau Rice Cooked by Absorption (see note 11 below).

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients - photo 1:

Essential:

  • 500g basmati rice
  • 6 tbsp (90ml) butter ghee (or vegetable oil)
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 12 whole green cardamom pods (lightly crushed using, for example, the back of a clever or knife)
  • 1 inch long stick cassia bark (or cinnamon stick)
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 2.5 litres water

Optional:

  • 1 tsp fresh garlic puree (or bottled)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger puree (or bottled)
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black (brown) mustard seeds
  • 4 fresh curry leaves (or dried)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • Red food colouring (liquid)
  • Yellow food colouring (liquid)
  • Green food colouring (liquid)

Method:

1.   Put the rice in a sieve and THOROUGHLY RINSE in cold, running, water - photo 2

2.   Leave rice, for at least five minutes, to drain and for the grains to elongate

3.   Bring the water to boil in a saucepan (or kettle, if big enough)

4.   Heat the ghee (or vegetable oil) in large saucepan

5.   Add the garlic and ginger purees (if using) and fry gently, stirring continuously, for 30 seconds - photo 3

6.   Add all of the the whole spices and fry gently, stirring continuously, for 30 seconds - photo 4

7.   Add the rice and fry gently, stirring continuously, for 1 minute.  Ensure that all of the rice grains are coated in ghee (or vegetable oil) - photo 5

8.   Add the boiling water and immediately stir to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan - photo 6

9.   Add the sugar and salt (if using) - photo 7

10. Bring the water back the boil

11. Cook the rice, uncovered, and stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan - photo 8

12. Keep removing and tasting grains of rice to see if it is nearly cooked.  It is ready when the grains are soft on the outside but still a little hard in the middle (i.e. "al dente").  It will only take about 5 - 7 minutes for Basmati rice.  DO NOT OVERCOOK THE RICE!

13. When almost cooked, pour the rice into a sieve and drain for 5 minutes - photo 9.  If the rice is overcooked, immediately rinse it with cold water to prevent further cooking.  Otherwise, don't bother (you'll simply wash away some flavour)

14. Spread the rice, in a thin layer, on a large tray (e.g. a baking tray) - photo 10

15. Place a few drops of each food colour (if using) on the surface of the rice - photo 11

16. Allow the rice to cool, by placing it in a fridge, for at least an hour.  The colours will "fix", the rice will become dry and the grains will separate  (Alternatively, place the rice in a warming draw/oven, pre-heated to 80-100C, for 30 to 60 minutes, and "fluff up" the before serving)

17. Gently toss the rice, using a couple of forks, to separate the grains, distribute the colours, and to "fluff up" the rice - photo 12

18. Place the rice in a bowl, or on a plate, and reheat in a microwave, on full power, for a couple of minutes, or until the rice is steaming hot throughout - photo 13

19. Enjoy!
 
Notes:

1.  Unless stated otherwise, the following measures apply:

a)  "tsp" = 1 level 5ml teaspoon
b)  "tbsp" = 1 level 15ml tablespoon

2.   The following points are important if you wish to produce free-flowing (i.e. non-stodgy) rice:

a)  Thoroughly RINSE the rice in water (before cooking) to remove as much starch as possible
b)  DO NOT OVERCOOK the rice.  It is far better to undercook it.  Remember that the rice will continue to cook, once you've removed it from the heat (unless you choose to immediately rinse it with cold water of course).  It will also cook further when you subsequently reheat it.

3.  If you wish to omit the artificial food colours, but you still want coloured rice, simply add 1 tsp of tumeric powder in Step 9

4.  If you want a yellow base colour to the rice, instead of white, simply add some yellow food colour (or tumeric) to the water in Step 9

5.  The rice can be used immediately it has drained, but it is preferable to dry it for the grains to separate further and for the food colours to set (if using)

6.  Rice can contain a bacteria called Bacilleusereus.  This can make you seriously ill.  Therefore, to kill the bacteria, the rice should be thoroughly heated (to greater than 80C, for not less than 2 minutes), before use, accordingly

7.  This rice freezes excellently.  Simply put it into suitable sized sealable containers and freeze it after Step 17 (remove the whole spices beforehand, if you wish, because they can become astringent upon freezing).  To reheat, simply defrost and heat in a microwave, on full power, for 2 minutes, or until the rice is steaming hot throughout

8   Any other rice can be cooked using this method, but the cooking times will vary

9.  Other options:

a)  For a tastier rice, add Akhni Stock (a "spice infusion"), instead of water, in Step 8
b)  Add 2 tbsp of chopped onions and fry, until golden, prior to Step 5 (or add pre-fried onions in Step 17)
c)  Add a tbsp of finely chopped fresh coriander in Step 7
d)  Add 2 tbsp of desiccated coconut in Step 7

10.  For Plain Boiled Basmati Rice:

i)    Prepare the rice as detailed in Steps 1 and 2
ii)   Omit Steps 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
iii)  Bring the water to boil in the cooking pan
iv)  Add the basmati rice to the boiling water and stir well
v)   Proceed with Steps 9 through to 19
vi)  Use immediately after Step 13 (without rinsing with cold water) or proceed through to Step 19 (omiting food colouring if you wish)

11.  For Pilau Rice Cooked by Absorption:

i)    Use a large saucepan (preferably flameproof) with a tight-fitting lid
ii)   Add 800ml of boiling water (for 500g of rice) in Step 8
iii)  Reduce the amount of sugar (if using) to 2 tsp in Step 9
iv)  Return to the boil and, as soon as the water starts boiling, put the lid on and reduce the heat to low
v)   Leave well alone
vi)  Turn the heat off after 3 minutes
vii)  Leave for another 3 minutes, check that all the water has absorbed (if not, leave for another minute or two), and stir the rice gently but well (lifting and turning it from the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking)
vii)  Proceed with Steps 14 through to 19.  Alternatively, leave in the saucepan (if flameproof) and proceed from Step 15, placing the rice directly into the warming drawer/oven.

Copyright Cory Ander 2006
« Last Edit: August 06, 2007, 04:15 AM by Cory Ander »
Regards,

CA :)

Offline Cory Ander

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Re: Perfect Pilau Rice - Every Time! (Illustrated!)
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2006, 01:38 PM »
photos (from top left to right, then bottom left to right):

Photo 1:  The ingredients
Photo 2:  Rinsing the rice
Photo 3:  Frying the garlic and ginger (if using)
Photo 4:  Frying the whole spices
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 09:35 AM by Cory Ander »
Regards,

CA :)


Offline Cory Ander

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Re: Perfect Pilau Rice - Every Time! (Illustrated!)
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2006, 01:41 PM »
photos (from top left to right, then bottom left to right):

Photo 5:  Frying the rice
Photo 6:  Adding the boiling water
Photo 7:  Adding the sugar and salt (if using)
Photo 8:  Boiling the rice
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 09:36 AM by Cory Ander »
Regards,

CA :)

Offline Cory Ander

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Re: Perfect Pilau Rice - Every Time! (Illustrated!)
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2006, 01:46 PM »
photos (from top left to right, then bottom left to right):

Photo 9:  Draining the rice
Photo 10:  Drying the rice
Photo 11:  Colouring the rice (if using)
Photo 12)  "Fluffed up" rice
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 09:36 AM by Cory Ander »
Regards,

CA :)


Offline Cory Ander

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Re: Perfect Pilau Rice - Every Time! (Illustrated!)
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2006, 01:48 PM »
photos:

Photo 13:  Perfect Pilau Rice, ready to eat!

(additional photos can be found here: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1180.msg10229#msg10229)

« Last Edit: November 28, 2006, 04:56 AM by Cory Ander »
Regards,

CA :)

Offline Chilli Prawn

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Re: Perfect Pilau Rice - Every Time! (Illustrated!)
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2006, 10:48 AM »
Fantastic Cory, well done and thank you.  That must have taken a lot of effort to produce, so it is well appreciated.  I can smell it from here ;D
CP

Offline laynebritton

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Re: Perfect Pilau Rice - Every Time! (Illustrated!)
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2006, 12:28 PM »
Yes I agree
Excellent work Cory great photo's well done  :P
Layne


Offline Mark J

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Re: Perfect Pilau Rice - Every Time! (Illustrated!)
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2006, 01:16 PM »
Excellent, Ill be giving that a go once my new kitchen is installed, grrr  (almost 4 weeks and no curry cooking) ;D

Offline Ashes

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Re: Perfect Pilau Rice - Every Time! (Illustrated!)
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2006, 02:13 PM »
Nice one Cory,

But what?? no tablecloth?  ;)

Kind Regards Ashes

Offline spicysarsy

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Re: Perfect Pilau Rice - Every Time! (Illustrated!)
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2006, 06:39 PM »
 ;) ;) Fanastic result Cory, well worth the time and effort, do I detect the old star aniseed used. Well Done. Paul


 

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