Peas Pilau


The White Basmati rice for this recipe comes via Traidcraft from the Kuruksheta region of Haryan State, India. The rice is bought through an organisation called Agrocel, an organisation promoting rural development.

This is a quick recipe that can be used with any Asian dish needing a rice basis, or as a salad dish. The white Basmati rice from the One World Shop is a lovely soft rice that absorbs a lot of water and fluffs up very well. The turmeric gives a clear yellow colour and the cinnamon gives an attractive aroma.

Quantities given are per person.


60 g
FAIRTRADE white basmati rice
60 g
frozen peas
30 g
2.5 ml
FAIRTRADE turmeric (or use a full tsp for a darker colour)
2.5 ml
FAIRTRADE ground cinnamon
FAIRTRADE bay leaves


Bring a pan of water to boiling. A large saucepan needs to be about two thirds full if you are cooking for 4.

While the water is heating up, weigh out enough rice and raisins for the number of people you are feeding and rinse in a sieve under cold running water for half a minute or so.

As the cooking water comes to the boil add the bay leaves, turmeric and cinnamon and then a few seconds later add the rice and the raisins. While the water comes back to the boil, stir the rice with a wooden spoon to prevent the rice from sticking together at the bottom of the pan. Once the rice is boiling again reduce the heat to a little more than a simmer so the rice cooks through without boiling vigorously.

After about 7 to 10 minutes add the frozen peas and turn the heat right up once more.

Put the kettle on to boil about a pint of water.

Watch the rice and peas mixture and when it comes to the boil turn the heat down to a simmer.

After 2 minutes more test the rice by fishing out a couple of grains on a spoon and eating them. If they seem cooked through (no gritty texture at all) then the peas pilau has finished cooking.

Empty the rice and peas mixture into a colander and rinse away any cooking residue with the boiling water from the kettle.

To serve

Remove the bay leaves and turn the rice out into a serving dish and serve hot, or allow to cool completely and chill in the fridge and serve as a salad dish.


Peas pilau as a side dish, is one of the fastest and most flexible dishes going. If the main dish is bright and varied, use a simple pilau rice, or if the main is a simple protein offering then make the pilau cheerful. A sweet touch (raisins or sultanas) often goes down well.

The variation in the photograph used simply white rice, frozen peas, and frozen sweetcorn.