Pilaf or pilau is a dish, originating from the Indian subcontinent, in which rice is cooked in a seasoned broth.

In some cases, the pilaf rice may attain its brown or golden color by first being sauteed lightly in oil before the addition of broth.

The wonderfully fragrant smell of the onions and spices cooking at the beginning of this recipe will really get you in the mood for food with this delicious butternut pilaf.

This is a quick easy recipe to make but the resulting pilaf dish is warm and comforting and is packed full of vitamins and goodness. Radishes are delightfully low in calories and being a low GI food help to fill you up and provide you with slow release energy.

This is a great meal for all the family – though you may like to serve the youngest in the family before scattering the chopped chilli on top!

Serves: 4  Preparation time: 10 minutes   Cooking time: 20 minutes

You’ll need:

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

1 onion chopped

3 cloves garlic sliced

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp fennel seeds

1 tsp black onion seeds

400g basmati rice

400g pumpkin diced

800ml hot chicken stock

Salt and pepper


100ml Greek yogurt

100g radishes sliced

100g roasted almonds crushed

Small bunch mint roughly chopped

Small bunch coriander roughly chopped

1 chilli chopped

What to do:

 Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan with a tight fitting lid, add the onion, garlic, cumin, fennel and black onion seeds, cook for 3 minutes, stirring every now and then until the onions are translucent. Now add the rice and cook for a further 2 minutes until the rice has also turned translucent, stirring the rice all the time. Add the pumpkin and stock, bring to the boil and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. Season and place the lid on the pan and leave to cook without stirring for 10 minutes, or until all the stock has been absorbed, turn off the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes to finish cooking.

Remove the lid and give a gentle stir. Top with a spoonful or two of Greek yogurt and scatter the sliced radishes and remaining ingredients over the top. Serve at once.

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