Fragrant herb and almond pilaf

  • serves 4
  • Easy

A good addition to a homemade Indian feast or as a light vegetarian meal for four. November is traditionally the month for almonds. Get them when they are fresh and sweet. The crispy onions are easy to make at home and the spices add plenty of flavour.



  • butter 50g plus a little extra
  • onions 2 large, halved and sliced
  • garlic 2 cloves, sliced
  • cinnamon 1 stick
  • cloves 4
  • cardamom pods 5, bruised
  • basmati rice 300g
  • vegetable stock fresh, made up to 550ml
  • oil for deep-frying
  • blanched almonds 4 tbsp
  • parsley, chive and coriander chopped to make 1 tbsp of each


  • Step 1

    Melt 50g butter in a large, wide pan and cook half the onions and all the garlic until soft and golden. Add the spices and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the basmati and stir until coated. Pour in the stock. Turn the heat down to a simmer then cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, heat a 2cm-layer of oil in a pan and deep-fry the remaining onions until crisp. Fry the almonds in a little more butter until golden. Stir the herbs into the pilaf and scatter the almonds and crisp onions over.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 506
  • Carbs 73.9g
  • Protein 9.7g
  • Fat 21.1g
  • Salt 0.4g
  • Fibre 3.6g