Brown Rice Pilaf

Category, , DifficultyBeginner

Pilaf (North American English) or Pilau (British English) is a dish you make from rice which you cook in broth or stock, then add spices, and meat or vegetables, or both. But it takes a little bit of technique to prepare a great pilaf. The most common mistake is when the grains are not fluffy and look like they are glued together.

Pilaf is a great dish to make with the leftovers you have. Any vegetables or meat that you left from the day before can be incorporated into the pilaf. And when you add a few spices, you have a yummy meal.

The most common way of preparing pilaf is like this.

You need to wash the rice under running water in order to remove the starch. Then it is cooked in water, broth, or stock.

Depending on the recipe, fried onion is added alongside other vegetables and meat. Some people like to place the rice on a little bit of fat and cook for a little bit before adding the liquid.

But, there are hundreds of variations of pilaf and almost every country has its own unique recipe.

History of pilaf

Pilaf is a dish that has been around for a very long time. It is believed that Persia is the place of origin when it comes to this dish.

There are records that Alexander the Great feasted on this dish in 330 BC when he was staying in the Bactria area in Persia.

But some claim that pilaf was the product of ancient India, which was next to ancient Persia.

In the 10th century, a scholar named Abu Ali Ibn Sina (considered as the "father of pilaf" according to some people) included an analysis of pilaf ingredients in his medical book.

Persian pilaf included (besides rice) chops of lamb, herbs, spices, and even dry fruits like dates or raisins. In Persian cuisine, pilaf was also used as stuffing, and quite often it is used to stuff vegetables like eggplant.

From Persia, pilaf has spread all around the world, through the Asian countries, Greece and Turkey, and then to western Europe. Turks call it "Pilav" and the Greeks called it "Pilafi" but over time, they added the second "f" so they also call it "Pilaffi".

Since it is a part of most modern cuisines, pilaf has many alternative names like Pela, Fulab, Polu, Palov, Polov, Pulao, Pulaav, Palaw, Palavu, Polao, Pela, Pilau, Pelau, Osh, Fulaaw, Polo, Fulav, etc.

Iranian technique

When it comes to Iranian cuisine, they differentiate four methods of cooking rice.

1. Chelow - this method requires the rice to be is partially boiled, then it is drained and steamed. This will give you really fluffy rice with a golden crust at the bottom of the pot.
2. Polow - the rice is prepared in the same manner as the first method, except, when you are steaming the rice, you put the other ingredients, as well. So, rice and other ingredients are steamed together in layers.
3. Kateh - this method is very popular and it is a traditional dish in Northern Iran. It is very simple - you boil the rice in the water until the rice absorbs all the water. Of course, you need to learn how exactly you should measure the rice and the water and in what proportion it should be.
4. Damy - this method means to cook the rice in the water, as well. The only difference is that rice should be simmering and before it boils, you need to cover the pot with a towel (so the steam would not go away).

Common ingredients in pilaf

Besides the cooked rice, which is the main ingredient in pilaf, there are a whole lot of other ingredients that are used when preparing this dish.

All sorts of vegetables go well with rice, while usually onion, garlic, scallions, or shallots bring the aroma to this dish.

Then there are eggs, mushrooms, oils like vegetable oil, lard, butter, or sesame oil. When it comes to meat, you can use any kind of meat like beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, mutton, etc.

Or you can use more processed meat like bacon, sausages, or ham. You can even add seafood like various types of fish, shrimp, crab, salmon, etc. You can use all sorts of garnish you prefer - parsley, coriander, chili, dill, chives, etc.

Brown rice vs. White rice

Rice is the food that contains only a small percentage of proteins, it has no fat, and it almost completely contains carbs. This is the same for both types of rice. Rice usually comes in different shapes and has brown and white variations.

However, people are aware of the fact that brown rice is healthier than white rice. Here is why. The process of getting white rice consists of removing the bran and germ from the whole grain.

On the other hand, brown rice is whole grain rice. It has the fibrous bran and the nutritious germ, which are its most nutritious parts. So, by removing them, you get the full-carb and not very nutritious food which is white rice.

So, brown rice has more nutrients like antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. It helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, reduces the risk of heart diseases, the risk of obesity, and helps to reduce the risk of getting type two diabetes, whereas white rice is increasing that risk.

Even though brown rice is recommended to include in your diet (instead of white rice), moderate consumption is the key in order to bring benefits for your health.

The reason is that brown rice is still high in carbs, and also, contains antinutrients like phytic acid and arsenic. It is fine when consumed moderately, but if you eat too much of it on a regular basis, it might cause some health problems.

Types of rice

There are three main types of rice.

1. Short grain rice - it is almost round in shape. This type of rice has a lot of starch and it is very sticky. So, it is often used for rice pudding, sushi, paella, etc.

2. Medium grain rice - it has less starch and it is not so sticky, but it is creamier when prepared. It is used for fried rice or risotto.

3. Long grain rice - their starch content is the lowest of them all. Also, they have dry grains that don't stick to each other that much. So, it is a perfect choice for our recipe - pilaf. Other than that, it can be used for curry or biryani.

pilaf

Yields1 Serving
Cook Time30 mins

Ingredients for the rice pilaf
 1 clove of Brunoise Garlic ( julienne first, turned a quarter turn, and diced again)
 ½ oz Julienne Onion
 1 cup Brown Rice - long-grain, uncooked
 ½ oz Julienne Green and Red Pepper
 1 tbsp Chiffonade Cilantro
 Salt
 1 ½ cups Chicken Broth - reduced fat or sodium
 Pepper

1

Pilaf is one of those dishes that go well with everything, as a side dish. But, at the same time, it can be a whole dish on its own, because it can contain carbs from rice, proteins from meat, fibers from vegetables, and yummy taste from aromatics and spices. When I make pilaf, I always use brown rice, instead of white because it is healthier and more nutritious. In addition to rice, you can use any kind of vegetables and meat. In my recipe, I used green and red peppers, alongside the onion, garlic, and cilantro. It makes the dish not only healthy but also colorful because of julienne strips. This pilaf recipe uses chicken broth as the liquid content which gives a special taste to the dish.

pilaf

Mix the ingredients
2

1. Firstly, take a large saucepan, and sauté the onion and peppers in oil until they become tender
2. Secondly, add the garlic and the brown rice and then cook and stir for about three to four minutes (until rice is slightly brown)
3. Thirdly, add the chicken broth, salt, and pepper

pilaf

Cook the pilaf
3

1. Boil the ingredients for about 10 minutes
2. Reduce the heat when all the liquid is absorbed and there are little heat bubbles in the rice
3. Then, cover the saucepan and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the rice is tender
4. In the end, fluff the rice with a fork

This pilaf is a perfect side dish for poultry, beef, pork, or any kind of protein main dish.

pilaf

 

Ingredients

Ingredients for the rice pilaf
 1 clove of Brunoise Garlic ( julienne first, turned a quarter turn, and diced again)
 ½ oz Julienne Onion
 1 cup Brown Rice - long-grain, uncooked
 ½ oz Julienne Green and Red Pepper
 1 tbsp Chiffonade Cilantro
 Salt
 1 ½ cups Chicken Broth - reduced fat or sodium
 Pepper

Directions

1

Pilaf is one of those dishes that go well with everything, as a side dish. But, at the same time, it can be a whole dish on its own, because it can contain carbs from rice, proteins from meat, fibers from vegetables, and yummy taste from aromatics and spices. When I make pilaf, I always use brown rice, instead of white because it is healthier and more nutritious. In addition to rice, you can use any kind of vegetables and meat. In my recipe, I used green and red peppers, alongside the onion, garlic, and cilantro. It makes the dish not only healthy but also colorful because of julienne strips. This pilaf recipe uses chicken broth as the liquid content which gives a special taste to the dish.

pilaf

Mix the ingredients
2

1. Firstly, take a large saucepan, and sauté the onion and peppers in oil until they become tender
2. Secondly, add the garlic and the brown rice and then cook and stir for about three to four minutes (until rice is slightly brown)
3. Thirdly, add the chicken broth, salt, and pepper

pilaf

Cook the pilaf
3

1. Boil the ingredients for about 10 minutes
2. Reduce the heat when all the liquid is absorbed and there are little heat bubbles in the rice
3. Then, cover the saucepan and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the rice is tender
4. In the end, fluff the rice with a fork

This pilaf is a perfect side dish for poultry, beef, pork, or any kind of protein main dish.

pilaf

Brown Rice Pilaf
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