Pink Pillau

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    Appears in

    The Settler's Cookbook

    By Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

    Published 2009

    • About


    • 2 mugs basmati rice
    • 2 chopped onions
    • 2 hot green chillies, chopped
    • 1 tsp each cumin seeds and mustard seeds
    • 3 aubergines or courgettes, cut small
    • 4 tbsp oil
    • 6 cooked beetroots (they make fresh blood, Mum said)
    • ¾ tsp turmeric
    • 2 tbsp broken cashew nuts
    • Five curry leaves
    • Salt


    • In a saucepan with a lid, boil plenty of salted water.
    • Wash rice and cook in the boiling water for six minutes.
    • Drain away the water, cover, turn the temperature right down, and leave for seven minutes.
    • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and throw in all the seeds.
    • After three minutes add the curry leaves and chillies. It should all sizzle.
    • Add the turmeric and cook for a minute.
    • Then add the aubergines or courgettes. (I never bother with salting these, it doesn’t seem to matter.)
    • Stir-fry for a few minutes, turn down the temperature, cover, and cook for another seven minutes.
    • Uncover and add chopped beetroot, cashew nuts and salt to taste.
    • Cook only for one more minute.
    • Mix the vegetable with the rice gently so the colour of the beetroot stains the rice.
    • Cover and leave for five minutes before serving.