Rice & Vegetable Pilaf

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a side dish

Appears in

Apples for Jam

Apples for Jam

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2010

  • About

Adults can add a few shakes of Tabasco sauce to this tasty rice. It can be made in advance and served warm or at room temperature, alone or with a dollop of thick, natural yoghurt. This could nicely accompany a grilled chicken dish, or fish. Once all the vegetables are chopped up finely no-one will be at all suspicious of them, but if you think you won’t get away with serving these to your children, then leave out the mushrooms and peppers.


  • 30 g(1 oz) butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small red pepper (capsicum), diced
  • 1 small leafy celery stalk, diced
  • 150 g( oz) button mushrooms, diced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 250 g(9 oz) tinned diced tomatoes
  • 300 g(10½ oz/ cups) long-grain rice


Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-based pan. Sauté the onion over low heat for a few minutes, until it is softened and golden. Add the paprika, sauté for half a minute or so and then add the garlic, pepper, celery and mushrooms. Increase the heat and continue cooking and stirring until all the juice has evaporated and the vegetables become soft and golden and look almost gooey. This is important so that they don’t taste steamed at the end. Add the parsley, worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. Let it bubble up and then pour in the tomatoes. After a few minutes, when the tomatoes surrender and collapse, add the rice, stirring to coat it well. Season with salt (remembering you have added soy sauce already) and pepper, then cover with 750 ml(26 fl oz/3 cups) of hot water.

Bring to the boil and cook for a couple of minutes to get it going. Give it a stir, cover the pan and lower the heat to an absolute minimum. If you have a simmer mat, then you can use it here. Cook for 15 minutes or so, until holes appear on the surface and the rice is cooked. Take care not to burn it, but it’s fine to have a few nice crusty patches on the bottom. Remove from the heat and fluff it up a bit with a fork. Cover with a tea towel, replace the lid and leave to steam for 10 minutes or so before serving.