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Top 10 tastiest Indian vegetarian dishes - #8. Cashew & Sultana Pilau Rice

Updated on August 4, 2012
1 star from 1 rating of Cashew & Sultana Pilau Rice


This side dish or accompaniment provides a nutty and aromatic taste and experience.
It is a fantastic accompaniment to the spicier dishes, such as Spicy Mushroom Rogan Josh and will help reduce some of the heat and bring out the spices of these dishes.

This recipe uses the traditional Indian “dum” (steamed) way of cooking the rice to ensure the rice absorbs the full flavours of the spices.


Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: Serves 4

Spice Spotlight: Turmeric
Is a rhizome (similar to ginger) whereby its tubers – found underground – are the parts used for spices, etc. The tubers are boiled, then dried and finally ground to give the vibrant yellow powder that gives curries and other South Eastern dishes their distinctive colour. The turmeric plant – like all rhizomes – is propagated by vegetative reproduction. That is, the rhizomes can be separated and they then grow further when replanted.


  • 2 black cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • 5 green cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 3 black pepper corns
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 285 ml / 10 fl oz Basmati rice
  • 570 ml / 20 fl oz Water (boiling)
  • 2 tsp Ground turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 50g / 1¾ oz Cashew nuts, roughly chopped
  • 50g / 1¾ oz Sultanas


  1. Mix all spices together (except turmeric, cinnamon stick, bay leaves) in a pestle & mortar & grind.
  2. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the crushed spices
  3. Allow to dry roast for 1 minute.
  4. Add groundnut oil & onion and fry for 2 minutes.
  5. Add rice and coat in oil (to prevent sticking).
  6. Add boiling water, turmeric, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cashews and sultanas to pan
  7. Stir the rice once.
  8. Cover and turn heat down to minimal setting.
  9. Cook for 15 minutes.
  10. Turn off the heat, remove the cinnamon stick, bay leaves.
  11. Serve.



get directions

Pilau rice / pilaf originally comes from Persia (modern day Iran).


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    • NMLady profile image


      6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      This is one of the most interesting rice recipes that I have found here. I WILL be making this. Please see my Biryana Rice Recipe and give me your tips.

      VERY NICE! Voted up!


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