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Orange and pistachio pilaf

Serves 6orange and pilaff rice with parsley sprinkled on top

Beautiful, and not expensive.


  • 300g (10 ½oz) basmati rice
  • 1 orange
  • 700ml (1 ¼ pints) chicken stock
  • 40g (1 ½oz) butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 125g (4 ½oz) carrots, in matchsticks
  • ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 25g (1oz) unsalted pistachios, chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


  1. Put the rice in a sieve and rinse until the water runs clear. Cut the zest from half the orange with a very sharp knife in broad strips, slicing away the white pith. Cut the zest into fine julienne. Squeeze the juice from the orange and add to the stock.
  2. Heat 15g (½oz) of the butter in a heavy saucepan and sauté the onion until pale gold. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Now add the rice and stir until beginning to toast. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil; the rice will start to look pitted. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cover for 15 minutes. Do not stir or the rice will become sticky. Check to ensure it isn’t burning at the bottom.
  3. Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan and sauté the carrots until they lose their raw bite. Remove the carrots and put in the zest. Cook until softening – only 2 minutes – then add the sugar and stir until slightly caramelized. Gently fork this into the rice with the carrots, nuts and coriander. Serve immediately.

Also try...

Egyptian megadara

Wash 70g (2 ½oz) brown lentils and 50g (1 ¾oz) long-grain rice and soak both for half an hour, then drain. Heat 4 tbsp olive oil and sauté 2 onions, finely sliced, until almost caramelized. Heat a further 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the lentils and rice and add 1 tsp ground cumin and ½ tsp ground allspice. Cook for 1 minute, then add 200ml (7fl oz) chicken stock. Cook gently, uncovered, for 25 minutes (don’t stir), then cover for 5 minutes so the bottom becomes browned. Stir, breaking the crispy bits from the bottom, and add most of the onions. Mix, check the seasoning and top with 2 tbsp Greek yogurt. Scatter the remaining onions on top and drizzle with olive oil.  Serves 4.


If you stick to the method in the main recipe here you can try salmon, leek and pea; lamb, date and aubergine; white fish, dill and feta; squid, chorizo and coriander…The permutations are endless.


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