According to Wikipedia, a pilaf or pilau is ‘is a dish in which rice is cooked in a seasoned broth.’ After that, you can chuck pretty much whatever you want into it, making it an easy dish to use up whatever you have lying around. My version is a brown rice cashew nut pilaf. It is both vegan and gluten free, making it great for those with food intolerances.
I enjoy this kind of easy and healthy food. It takes about 15 minutes to prepare and another 25 – 30 to cook through. I don’t eat onions, so just left them out. The vegetables should all be chopped quite small.
Brown rice cashew nut pilaf
Serves 4 as a main course
2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil (or 2 cloves crushed garlic and plain oil)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 medium courgette, chopped
4 heaped tsp medium curry powder
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
300g brown rice
50g frozen peas
50g frozen French beans
600g of strong vegetable stock (I used 4 heaped tsp of Marigold stock)
Black pepper to taste
300g toasted cashew nuts
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok then sauté the onions and garlic (if using). Stir in the curry powder and sauté for a couple more minutes. Add the celery, pepper and courgette and fry for about 5 minutes. Throw the rice into the pan and stir well so that it is well coated with the spices and vegetables. Fry for a few minutes more.
Pour in your vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Simmer uncovered until the rice is the consistency you prefer. I don’t like brown rice too al dente so will cook this for about 30 minutes. Add more hot water if it starts to look a bit dry. Meanwhile toast your cashew nuts in a dry pan until just brown and crunchy. Add them to the pilaf as you serve it.
This brown rice cashew nut pilaf is good with a green salad, although Mr S prefers his with a bit of baked chicken!
For more of my frugal recipe ideas, see here.