MataMeals: Pilaf


Photo credit: Evgeniya Emolkina

Evgeniya Emolkina

It is hard to say when and where this Eastern dish first appeared. It has many variations and even if two people are going to be making it using the same recipe, chances are at the end the flavor will differ too.

Preparation time: 15 min

Overall Cooking Time: 1.5 hours

Approx. Cost: $9.50


  • Meat – 1lb
  • Carrots – 2 medium
  • Onion – ½
  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Vegetable oil
  • Garlic – 6 cloves
  • Salt and spices to taste (turmeric, bay leaf, barberry, Zira)
Spices are very important in this dish. Let your imagination run wild and experiment. Photo credit: Evgeniya Emolkina


1. Grate the carrots, dice the onion and cut the meat. Then cook them on a high heat in a frying pan with 3-4 tbsp of oil until it reaches the brownish color. About 7 minutes. Add enough water to cover the meat, turn the heat to low, close the lid and let it cook for an hour. Remember to watch over it.

carrot collage.png
Photo credit: Evgeniya Emolkina

2. If you have some broth left after an hour, pour it into a cup and set aside. Then add salt, spices and rice to the meat.

Some people say that you only can use a certain type of rice. I, on the other hand, think that any will work, you will just get a different flavor. Photo credit: Evgeniya Emolkina

3. Add another tablespoon of oil and fry it for a minute. So that it can incorporate the flavor better.

You might need to fry the rice a bit longer in order for it not to be mushy. Photo credit: Evgeniya Emolkina

4. Then add two cups of liquid for each cup of rice. Simmer on a low heat with the lid closed until the rice is fully cooked and liquid is evaporated (for about 25 minutes)

I had one cup of broth left so I added one cup of water. If your broth evaporated while the meat was cooking, that is not a problem, just use two cups of water. Photo credit: Evgeniya Emolkina

5. Then add garlic and fry for a minute or so on a high heat. Bon appétit!

Photo credit: Evgeniya Emolkina