Caramel Pilaf
20 Min

Caramel Pilaf

This technique originates from the Sindh province, where using a touch of caramel to flavor rice with spices and seasonings is fairly common. There is some use of sugar (or jaggery) in the recipe but the final product is not sweet, just a rich and nutty flavor.
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Cook Time

30 Minutes



Step 1
Rinse the rice 2 to 3 times. Soak in cold tap water for about 2 to 3 hours and drain.
Step 2
In a medium-sized stockpot, heat the ghee and fry the crushed peppercorns. Then add the sugar or jaggery and lower the heat. The sugar will start to melt and burn slightly – do not be alarmed!
Step 3
When the sugar has reached a dark brown color, add 2 cups of water along with the ginger and salt.
Step 4
When the liquid has come to a boil, gently add the drained rice, lower the heat and cover the stockpot. Cook for another 8 to 10 minutes but do not stir the rice. Turn off the heat after the rice has rested for about 10 to 15 minutes; fluff it gently with a fork and serve.
1 cup long-grain basmati rice
2 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
2 tablespoons cane sugar or 1 tablespoon jaggery
2 tablespoons unpeeled grated ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt

Notes & Variations

  • This pilaf is a side dish. To make it a main dish, stir in chopped vegetables (such as carrots, zucchini, kale, or spinach), herbs (such as mint, cilantro, or flat leaf parsley) and nuts or dried fruits at the end.
  • If you do not have whole peppercorns, add a teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  • Instead of water, add a chicken or vegetable stock.
20 Min

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Let's make a meal out of it!

Here are some light soups that will pair well with this side of pilaf.