Basic pilaf
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Takes 20 min to make, plus standing

Cook up a batch of this perfectly flavoured rice to use as a base for speedy summer dishes. The rice freezes well and can be instantly transformed into a quick spicy seafood rice, speedy barbecued lamb biryani and Griddle chicken rice salad.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 35g butter
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 600g basmati rice
  • 300ml white wine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 litre chicken stock, hot


  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and a good pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  2. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat the grains in the oil and butter. Add the wine and, over a high heat, allow to bubble until almost all the wine has evaporated. Add the bay leaves and hot stock and bring to simmering point. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to very low and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Fluff up the rice with a fork to separate all the grains, check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Tip out onto a large baking tray and spread out to allow it to cool quickly. To make the dishes that follow, divide the cooked rice among 3 freezerproof containers in 2 portions of 700g and 1 of 550g.

delicious. tips

  1. This is a great, tried and tested recipe for making the perfect rice. The last thing you want is overcooked rice all stuck together, but this method is guaranteed to give you light and fluffy, free-flowing rice grains, lightly coated with oil and butter, and perfectly flavoured.


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