Rice for pilaf: which is better

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Experienced chefs know that you can get a delicious pilaf only by choosing a suitable rice variety. However, this is a difficult task, given the current selection of cereals offered in stores. How to choose the perfect grain for cooking Uzbek dishes?

How to choose rice for pilaf

Groats, which are used for cooking pilaf, should have a number of properties, for example, perfectly absorb water, aromas, fats of other products. In addition, the grains must keep their shape, not stick together with each other during cooking, otherwise the dish will not be crumbly. Which rice is better to use for pilaf? It is preferable, according to experts, to prepare it from the Devzira variety, specially bred by breeders. This cereal has a beautiful beige hue, a pleasant smell and a slightly sweet taste. Consider other rice varieties as ingredients for pilaf.


This variety of grains undergoes minimal processing, therefore it retains a maximum of useful components and has a slight smack of nuts. Croup contains copper, zinc, iodine and many other elements necessary for the human body. The average cooking time is half an hour, and the shelf life of the product is shorter than that of other types of rice, so you can’t keep it at home for a long time. Another disadvantage of such cereals is its high cost.

Pilaf from brown rice is not only interesting in taste, but also low in calories and minimal starch content, unlike white cereals. In addition to the Uzbek dish, you can prepare other side dishes and even delicious desserts from brown grains. Some modern pilaf recipes combine dark with long-grain white rice. In addition to the unusual look, this cooking solution is economical.

Plate of Brown Rice


Polished rice has a white color, can be translucent and have an oblong or round shape. Since in the process of processing the grains lose almost all of their valuable properties, they are significantly inferior to the use of brown cereal. However, grinding improves the shelf life of groceries. A big plus of white cereal, as the basis for pilaf, is the speed of its preparation (it only takes about 15 minutes to cook). Which rice is better for pilaf:

  1. Basmati. Long grains are grown in Pakistan and India. They have a very pleasant taste, swell during cooking and become twice as large. With proper preparation, the groats will turn out to be friable, whole and soft. For pilaf, this is a very good option..
  2. Arborio. This is medium grain or round grain rice. When cooking, it very actively nourishes the smells and tastes of other ingredients, so it is great for preparing pilaf, risotto, and other multi-component dishes.
  3. Krasnodar rice. May have a round shape or slightly elongated. Delicious porridge is made from it, it is suitable for cooking soups, pilaf and other dishes, but it is better to soak the grains before cooking.
  4. Jasmine. This variety has a beautiful snow-white color and is grown in Thailand. When cooking, the croup perfectly retains its shape without boiling and sticking together. Cooking delicious rice is in a cauldron or deep pan with a closed lid..
  5. Indica. Ideal for pilaf, as it does not boil and is crumbly, it absorbs broth, smells and tastes well.

Basmati Rice


Thanks to the steaming technology, most of the valuable components in the cereal are preserved. After such processing, the rice grains have a light golden hue, which leaves during the cooking process. The steamed product does not stick together and can compete with brown in the number of vitamins / microelements. The disadvantages of steamed rice are its relatively high price compared to other types of polished grains and the increased cooking time, which is about 30 minutes.

Steamed rice pilaf turns out to be very tasty, without pre-soaking the product. You just need to rinse the grains under running water. If left in the liquid for a long time, its structure will collapse and the rice will become too brittle. There are many types of steamed cereals, each of which is intended for the preparation of certain dishes. What rice to take for pilaf:

  • Jasmine or Super Basmati (perfectly saturated with fats, aromas of spices, therefore ideal for cooking oriental dishes);
  • Amber (This variety is specially grown for steaming, has a beautiful golden hue and large elongated grain).

Steamed long grain rice


This type of cereal is especially rich in iron, and if the degree of processing of grains was low, then vitamins of group B and other valuable components were preserved in them. Rice for Uzbek pilaf of Rubin variety is very useful, therefore nutritionists recommend eating it more often. Thanks to the preserved shell, such grains contain a huge amount of fiber. Gourmets appreciate red groats for its unusual color (you can evaluate it in the photo) and a subtle nutty smell. Nevertheless, to make the dishes delicious, you need to know how to cook the grains, otherwise it will be difficult to chew them.

What rice is needed for pilaf in a cauldron? Devzira, a culture that grows in the central regions of Uzbekistan, is ideally suited for this. This is the only variety that is adapted to local conditions (other rice crops do not grow here). In a suitable season, Devziru is not very difficult to find in the Russian markets. The variety has the properties ideal for preparing an oriental dish – it absorbs broth, vegetable juice and the aroma of seasonings very well, therefore it is perfectly suited for pilaf.

Long grain

Such grits during cooking increase in size, do not stick together, maintain their integrity. Long-grain varieties can be purchased at any store, but for pilaf it is better to look for real Uzbek rice Devziru. If there is no time for this, you can add other types of long-grain cereals, for example, varieties Laser or Basmati, to the dish. Their main advantages are:

  • ability to maintain shape during cooking;
  • good absorption of liquids, aromas;
  • availability;
  • cooking speed.

Long grain rice in a bag

How to choose rice for pilaf

You can simply take the product packaging in the store, which says “For pilaf,” but in the absence of it, you will have to choose the variety yourself. What rice is suitable for pilaf:

  1. To get a friable structure, it is better to choose steamed grains such as Basmati or Jasmine. In addition, a steamed mixture of wild rice is suitable for oriental dishes..
  2. During the purchase, do not hesitate to try the grain: if it bites easily, it is better to refrain from buying (the porridge will be sticky and may boil).
  3. When choosing a packaged product through the packaging, grains should be visible, which should be solid and not contain excess litter.
  4. Ideally, the surface of the drawings should be slightly rough and ribbed..
  5. Round grains are not suitable for Uzbek dishes, so long-grain rice should be preferred.
  6. The product must not have an unpleasant odor.

How to rinse rice for pilaf

If you do not prepare the grits for cooking, you can spoil the whole dish. How to prepare rice for pilaf? The first thing to do is to remove the maximum amount of starch, for this purpose rice is poured with hot water (without soaking) and immediately drained. This procedure is repeated up to 5 times until the liquid becomes transparent. At the same time, turmeric can be added to the last water, which will color in a beautiful tone and impregnate the grains with a light pleasant taste.

How to cook cereals? To swell it, leave the grains (with the exception of steamed) in water for 30-60 minutes. If you chose Devzira or Samarkand, it is better to soak the rice longer. Experienced chefs believe that almost any variety is suitable for preparing an Uzbek dish, the main thing is to properly prepare the grains, so this aspect should not be ignored.

Rice soaked in water

The ratio of rice and water for pilaf

Proportions should be selected taking into account the method of cooking. For example, according to the Uzbek recipe, the liquid should be less than other ingredients: up to 700 ml of water (including zirvak – broth) is taken for 400 g of meat and the same amount of rice. How to cook an Azerbaijani dish? The proportions of rice and water for pilaf are calculated differently, since all the ingredients are prepared separately and only at the end are mixed in one container. In this case, the liquid should be taken three times more than cereals. When cooking in a slow cooker, water is poured so that it covers the cereal by 2 cm.

Best rice for pilaf

Even knowing the appropriate rice varieties for pilaf, you can get confused at the store – the range of products from different manufacturers is very large. Below is a ranking of companies offering a quality product, and the names of the varieties. What rice is better to cook pilaf from:

  1. Long grain. The best choice for pilaf / risotto is Basmati and Jasmine. Good products are offered by the Mistral and National brands. Jasmine grits are also available from Scotti..
  2. Brown. Brown grains are considered the most useful, in Russia they are offered only by some brands specializing in rice. Good products can be bought from Agro-Alliance.
  3. Red. A good choice for oriental dishes and side dishes is long-grain red rice from Platinum Fair.
  4. Devzira. This cereal is best purchased not from a store, but from market traders..
  5. Arborio. Good products from Gallo and Mistral. Arborio is ideal for cooking pilaf, as it is well absorbed by the sauce and aromas of other ingredients.

Red rice in a plate


The cost of the product depends not only on the variety of groceries, but also on the manufacturer. It is possible to buy rice for pilaf in an online store, in any supermarket or in a market where Uzbeks sell it in glasses. In the latter case, you can carefully study the quality of the seeds and try them before purchasing. When buying through the online service catalog, goods can be ordered directly to your home, and it’s more convenient to choose a product in the supermarket (you can immediately see the product information on the package). Examples of popular product prices:

  • Agro-Alliance for pilaf – 95 rubles;
  • Mistral Arborio – 280 rubles;
  • Jasmine National – 150 rubles;
  • Ameria Amber steamed – 120 rubles.
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