Zanzibar, as well as other islands, make up the world-famous “Spice Islands”. It is a country world-renowned for its rich production of a variety of spices and for using them to create aromatic and mouth-watering dishes. In most Zanzibar recipes spices like cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla, lemongrass and saffron will make their appearance. These spices are grown in the country and their local dishes are often centred around the use of one or more of these spices.
Keen to make an extraordinary side dish that is the perfect, aromatic accompaniment to just about anything? Pilau rice, otherwise known as pilaf rice is a flavourful rice dish that is both spicy and full of flavour. Every country in the world generally has their take on a pilau rice recipe, and when it comes to a Zanzibar Pilau, you can bet that you’re going to get a mouth bursting with a rich spice blend.
Make an Extraordinary Zanzibar Pilau (Rice Pilaf) Inspired Dish
Pilau rice is one of our favourite recipes over here at Robertson’s. It’s easy, it’s flavourful and it’s a great side to serve with most meat dishes. Fish and seafood pair well with a pilau especially dishes like seafood broth or garlic butter prawns. You can also serve this pilau at your next braai with a delicious assortment of medium rare steak strips, boerewors and chicken kebabs.
What Are the Main Ingredients in a Zanzibar Pilau Dish?
Robertson’s Spice for Rice is the secret ingredient in this recipe along with a selection of aromatic spices like turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. So, if you want to know how to cook pilau rice the Zanzibar way, keep reading. Of course, rice is the hero and we recommend using Basmati Rice for this recipe to get the softest, fluffiest rice possible.
How to Make Rice Pilau
Sauté garlic, onions and butter and then add your mix of spices with a generous helping of butter, to low heat to simmer down and allow all those beautiful flavours and aromas to burst. In our Robertson’s Zanzibar Pilau recipe, we add a gentle blend of Robertson’s Spice for Rice and Robertson’s turmeric, with cinnamon sticks, cloves and cardamom. Only once these spices have gently simmered for a few minutes, do you then add the rice, vegetable stock and coconut milk. Read the full Spicy Rice Pilau recipe now.
The Best Way to Cook a Zanzibar Pilau Dish
The best way to cook this dish is slowly. Don’t be in a huge hurry to rush this dish, because the longer it can simmer, the more powerful the flavours will become. Sautéing the ingredients and spices first, help to make them burst with spice and then slowly cooking them in stock and coconut milk help to infuse the spices into the rice.Tips for making an extraordinary Zanzibar Pilau rice dish.
Here are a few tips for making this dish extraordinary;
- Serve the pilau with a strongly flavoured chutney. Gorgeous tomato chutney or even a traditional peach chutney will make this recipe pop with flavour.
- For extra crunch, add crispy fried onions on top of the rice dish before serving.
- The rice dish itself is generally vegetarian and is designed to be a side dish. However, you can add crispy fried bacon to the dish to add some crunchy protein and serve it to the family as the main meal.