Perfect pilaf

Submitted - Ben
Views - 211
Serves - 4


300g white basmati rice
Generous knob of butter
3 cardamom pods, crushed
1 stick of cinnamon
2 strips of lemon zest
Pinch of saffron (optional)


1. Rinse the rice thoroughly and tip into a large saucepan of boiling, salted water. Stir, bring back to the boil, and cook for 7 minutes.

2. Drain well and season to taste. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a clean pan over a medium heat then add the spices and lemon zest. Cook for a minute, then add 2 tbsp water and a layer of rice. Heap the rest on top in layers, making sure not to push it down. Make 5 air holes in the surface with the handle of a wooden spoon, wrap a lid of the pan in a clean tea towel and cover. Cook over a very low heat for 30 minutes.

3. Have 5cm of cold water ready in the sink. When the rice is done, plunge the pan into the water and leave for a minute, then turn the pilaf on to a platter.