Hi friends! I am excited to share a simple recipe that has been a favorite of my kids. Ever since the kids were little and I started to introduce South Asian food to them, I wanted to keep it simple. It seemed like it was easier to make one pot dishes.  My kids definitely enjoy rice, but it can get boring to make plain rice. Rice is one of those ingredients you can do so much with in any cuisine. This is still my go-to recipe as the kids have gotten older. Sometimes I add broccoli, chickpeas, mix frozen vegetables as different variations. I shouldn’t say it’s just the kids favorite, everyone enjoys it a lot.


Pilaf is just a fancy word for flavorful rice. It’s rice that has been cooked with aromatics of different combinations of ingredients/spics. Once you have the base down such as sautéing onions, garlic in oil/butter try different types of spices. You can use powdered spices or whole spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, etc.


Basmati rice is most commonly used in South Asian cooking. There are many different varieties of basmati rice. It is a long-grained rice, that is very fragrant, tends to cook quickly. This rice also tends to stay fluffy and separate after cooking. Now it can depend on the variety of the basmati rice and cook time will vary. Basmati rice is traditionally grown in the Indian subcontinent.

I make this rice dish often. Kids will have a bowl as a main dish with some cucumbers on the side. It can also be enjoyed as a side dish to any meat or vegetable curry.


Easy and delicious side dish of rice.


  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 small tomato chopped
  • 3 hands full spinach chopped (prewashed)
  • 4 tbsp. oil of choice
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. salt more or less to your taste
  • 1 cup Basmati rice long grain rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  • Heat oil in medium size pot. Add onions saute until golden brown.
  • Add cumin seeds & garlic, saute for 5-10 seconds, just until garlic not raw.
  • Add tomato, coriander, cumin, garam masala, 1/4 tsp. salt. Let spices saute in oil for few minutes. If sticking to pan add a little water.
  • Add chopped spinach and rest 1/4 tsp. salt. Saute for few minutes. Let spinach wilt. Again add a little water if sticking to bottom of pan.
  • Add rice and water. Let it come to boil covered.
  • Once it has come to boil and just enough water has evaporated and rice is visible. Turn to low. Keep covered and cook for 5-8 minutes.
  • If the lid is escaping steam cover pot with foil than put on lid. The steam makes the rice fluffy.
  • Fluffy rice with fork


I try to use nonstick pot for rice.
Rinse the rice to remove starch, than rice will be fluffy and stay separated.
For South Asian dishes I like to use basmati rice. It is a long grain rice. Very fragrant and fluffy. This type of rice cooks fast
In place of water you could use stock, but add less salt.
Author: Shazia




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