Pilau Rice

Pilau rice is one of the many variations of the more commonly accepted savory rice dish name pilaf. This version comes from North Indian origins.

Basmati rice is sauteed in seasoned ghee before peas are added. It gets its yellow color from turmeric, although saffron can also be used if available.

This rice works well over a gas camp stove in a saucepan, or in a Dutch oven over the fire. It can be served with a wide range of curries.

Pilau Rice Recipe

Pilau rice is one of the many variations of the more commonly accepted savory rice dish name pilaf. This camping version comes from North Indian origins.
Preparation 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Ready in 30 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
CourseSide Dish


  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 inch ginger sliced
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup peas


  • 1 moderate sized pot


  • In a pot or Dutch oven over moderate temperature add the ghee, when melted add the cumin, onion, and ginger. Stir until the cumin starts to become fragrant.
  • Wash the rice then add to the ghee and stir while gently frying. When it starts to stick add the warm water.
  • Sprinkle the turmeric and peas over the top and then place the lid on and slowly bring to a boil. When it starts to boil turn off the heat, or take off the heat and move to the side to cook the pilau rice.
  • When the rice has been sitting for about 10 minutes remove the lid and check the rice is cooked. When cooked fluff the pilau rice with a fork and serve.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 466kcalCarbohydrates: 80gProtein: 8gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 17mgPotassium: 213mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 146IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 2mg

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Portrait Photo of Saffron Hodgson cooking on a Camp Stove with a campfire in the background

About Saffron Hodgson

Outdoor cooking has been Saffron’s passion since she was young, often choosing to go camping and cook hearty meals over fire rather than stay inside, watch TV, and eat take-out. Today she is the driving force of Bush Cooking bringing the skills of cooking outdoors to thousands of people.

Learn more about Saffron Hodgson
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