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Curried rice pilaf recipe

Curried rice pilaf recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish

This easy rice pilaf, made with a mixture of curried rice, almonds, raisins and pineapple will brighten up any meal!

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 350ml chicken stock
  • 140g uncooked rice
  • 35g flaked almonds
  • 40g raisins
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 125g pineapple chunks, drained

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:35min

  1. Bring chicken stock to the boil in a pot over high heat. Add rice, almonds, raisins, oil, soy sauce, curry powder and turmeric. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir in pineapple.

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How to Make The Best Rice Pilau Recipe

Rice pilau can be eaten with your favourite curry or simply on its own.

In fact I used to make a similar rice pilau recipe all the time in my university years when I needed to eat but wanted to ensure I had enough beer money.

Nowadays, I must cook rice pilau once a week because it’s so easy and tastes great too.

So good with curry or on its own.

Curried Rice Pilaf


  • 1 1/2 cups onions, diced
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 cup (more if needed) water
  • 4 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cup peas, frozen
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons (to taste) curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) Kosher salt


  1. Heat olive oil in a medium or large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, pepper and carrots and sauté until the onions are soft.
  3. Stir in 1/4 cup water, cooked rice, frozen peas and curry powder. Add more water if desired to make the rice softer and moister.
  4. Continue to cook over medium low heat until the curry is hot.
  5. Add salt, stir and serve.


This recipe is great to use leftover rice (of course fresh rice is best). If your rice is leftover and hard, add more water if needed to make sure the rice is soft and moist enough.

Add a little more water if the rice sticks to the bottom of the pan.

You can also use cooked white rice for this recipe.

See a cooking demonstration of this Curried Rice Pilaf recipe on the Cooking Lessons for Dad YouTube channel.


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Curried Rice

This version of curry rice is a sort of pilaf: rice is toasted in aromatic butter before being steamed to perfection. Perfectly spiced, it makes for a solid side dish, or a filling main. Below, we break down all the components that make this rice perfect.

Ghee is clarified butter and using it has its pros and cons. Unlike butter, which still contains milk solids, ghee is pure fat, which means it has a much higher smoke point than regular butter and won't burn as readily. However, the lack of milk solids in ghee also means it won't develop as much flavour as butter will during cooking. If you've ever cooked with brown butter, you know just what a treat it is.

Much of Indian cooking uses ghee, which has a richer taste than most other vegetable oils. But if you want to bump up the flavour even more, go ahead and use butter&mdashjust make sure you lower the heat and keep stirring the pot to avoid burning those milk solids.


For perfect curry rice, nothing beats the flavour of a high quality yellow curry powder and some fresh curry leaves. While optional, frying the curry leaves in ghee both infuses the ghee with a mild curry fragrance as well as creating a crispy garnish to serve your finished rice with. To supplement the pre-made curry powder with some additional punch, we're also using lots of fresh garlic and ginger, as well as cumin seeds, freshly ground black pepper, coriander, and a touch of ground cayenne for heat. All of these spices get bloomed in hot ghee to help release their flavours into the fat, which then get absorbed into the rice during the cooking process.

For best results with this recipe, go with a good long-grain white rice&mdashthe liquid to rice ratio here is made specifically with white basmati in mind. Be sure to rinse the rice three times or until the water runs clear: this eliminates excess starch for distinct, perfectly tender cooked grains. Drain well, then toast the grains evenly in the pot with your aromatics before adding in your broth. Bring the pot to a gentle simmer, reduce the heat to your lowest setting, then clamp on that lid&mdash17 minutes is the magic number! After you turn off the heat, do not lift the lid right away: Wait just 5 more minutes to let the steam inside the pot distribute evenly. Once you uncover, bathe in the fragrant rice aromatherapy, then fluff gently with a fork to separate your grains before folding in the peas.

And everything nice

Curry rice is a blank (but delicious!) canvas that you can adjust to your liking. For topping, I like some crunchy raw red onions, crispy curry leaves, pan-toasted cashews (with just a little bit of char for smoky nuttiness), fresh coriander and spicy red chillis, and cooling, creamy yoghurt. You can add more veggies or protein in if you're planning on eating it as a meal by itself: a fried egg, roasted carrots, some steak, or roasted chicken.

Leftovers can be placed in an airtight container and will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. A quick reheat in the microwave with a small bowl of hot water will do wonders to bring back that freshly-steamed rice flavour and texture&mdashperfect for a speedy lunch.


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Ingredient notes

What type of rice should you use? Use whatever type you normally like to eat! I typically make this Caribbean rice recipe with basmati rice, because that's our go-to rice for most preparations. It should work well with any variety of long-grain rice. I haven't tried it with medium-grain so I cannot comment on the results.

What type of curry powder should you use? Curry powder is actually a blend of spices. The exact recipe for each blend varies depending on many factors. An Indian curry powder will differ from a Jamaican curry powder, and so on and so forth.

For example, Jamaican curry powder is usually a bit more mild than its Indian counterpart, and often contains more turmeric. Ideally, use a Caribbean curry powder for this recipe if you have one. But if you only have one type of curry powder in your pantry, it should work just fine.

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Step 1: Gather and prepare all ingredients.

Step 2: Heat the oil in a large skillet (affiliate link) over medium-high heat. Stir in the red pepper and onion and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

Cooking chopped red bell pepper and onion

Step 3: Add the rice, curry powder and cumin and continue stirring for 1 minute.

Adding rice, curry powder and cumin to skillet

Step 4: Stir in the broth and bring mixture to a boil.

Adding curry and bringing to a boil

Once boiling, reduce to low heat, cover skillet and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, just until liquid is absorbed.

Step 5: Add the shrimp, peas, cilantro and lime juice and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until heated through.

Cooking Curried Rice and Shrimp Pilau (Pilaf)

Step 6: Divide evenly among 4 plates or bowls and serve immediately.

Curried Rice and Shrimp Pilau/Pilaf

  • Meal Type: Lunch, Dinner
  • Dietary Type: Omnivore
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 4

Meal: Lunch or Dinner
Dietary Type: Omnivore
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

The Dish
This recipe has everything going for it! A delicious main dish loaded with vegetables and chicken, simmered in a quick curry sauce, plus a hearty and healthy rice pilaf blend.

The sauce is similar to the classic restaurant-quality masala, just simplified. Garlic and onions are sautéed until fragrant, then simmered with spices, coconut cream, tomatoes, and stock. Chicken, spinach, peppers, peas, and green beans are stirred and stewed till tender. The rice is steamed with a little cinnamon and clove, producing some lovely aromatics.

Looking for a totally vegetarian or vegan version of this recipe? That&rsquos easy! Simply substitute the chicken for extra firm tofu and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.


Quick Curry Sauce
2 teaspoons (10ml) olive oil
3 each garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup (64g) yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons (4g) curry powder or garam masala powder
1 cup (237ml) coconut cream
1/2 cup (95g) canned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup (118ml) chicken broth
salt to taste

Main Dish
10oz (300g) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup (70g-100g) spinach (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup (60g) roasted red peppers or red bell peppers, diced
1/2 cup (70g) peas (fresh or frozen)
1 cup (90g) green beans (fresh or frozen), chopped

Rice Pilaf
2 cups (450ml) chicken broth
1 cup (165g) brown rice and wild rice blend
2 each cloves
1/2 stick cinnamon


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Saute garlic and onions for 2 minutes or until slightly tender.
  • Stir in curry powder and cook for an additional (1) minute.
  • Whisk in coconut cream, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth.
  • Bring to a simmer.
  • Add chicken, spinach, peppers, peas, and green beans.
  • Stir, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  • Season to taste with salt.
  • Bring broth to a boil over medium high heat and add rice blend, cloves and cinnamon.
  • Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and cook for 20-30 minutes or until cooked and fluffy.
  • Serve curried chicken and vegetables with rice pilaf.

Vegetarian and Vegan Modifications: Substitute the chicken in this recipe with tofu. Substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth.