Gordon Ramsay's vegetable pilau rice recipe

(389 ratings)

This is the celeb chef's version of the classic Indian takeaway favourite, vegetable pilau rice, from the Channel 4 series Gordon's Great Escape

Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time40 mins
Total Time1 hours 20 mins
Five A DayTwo

This is the celeb chef's version of the classic Indian takeaway favourite, vegetable pilau rice, from the Channel 4 series, Gordon's Great Escape


  • 400g basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee or melted unsalted butter (ghee is not suitable for vegetarians)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • Sea salt
  • 50g mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 75g green beans
  • 150g cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 100g peas, thawed if frozen
  • 850ml water
  • 30g raisins
  • 30g toasted pistachio nuts




  1. Wash the rice in several changes of cold water, then leave to soak in fresh cold water for at least 30 mins. Drain well and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil and 1tbsp of ghee or butter in a wide, heavy-based pan and add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves and star anise.
  3. Fry for a minute until they begin to crackle and smell fragrant.
  4. Add the onions and fry for another 6-8 mins, stirring frequently until soft and golden brown. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli powder and fry the ground spices for another minute.
  5. Add the remaining ghee or butter, a pinch of salt and all the vegetables to the pan. Sautee for 3-4 mins then tip in the drained rice and stir well.
  6. Toast the rice over a high heat for a minute then pour in the water and add the raisins. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for about 10 mins until the rice looks dry and the water has been absorbed.
  7. Turn off the heat and, without removing the lid, leave to steam for another 5 mins. Uncover and fork through the rice and vegetables. Sprinkle with the toasted pistachios and serve.
Top Tip for making Gordon Ramsay's vegetable pilau rice

In India, the fragrant rice for a pilau is usually cooked separately from the other ingredients and everything is mixed together at the end, similar to the way inwhich a biryani is made.

Gordon Ramsay
Celebrity chef

Gordon Ramsay is a celebrity multi-Michelin starred chef. Born who in Scotland, he has restaurants all over the world including the UK, France, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States. He’s a proud father-of-five and many of his recipes are particularly suited to if you’re entertaining for your family or a group of friends. He trained with some of the world’s most renowned chefs including Albert Roux, Marco Pierre White and Guy Savoy and opened his first restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, in 1998.