A basic rice pilaf recipe includes sauteing rice with butter and aromatics such as onion and garlic, and cooking the rice with chicken stock. Other ingredients such as dry spices, peas, carrots, raisins, fresh herbs and nuts can be added at different points to enhance the pilaf.
Start by heating a generous amount of oil or butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute a small onion with two cloves of garlic, both finely chopped. When the onion and garlic are softened and translucent, add 1 cup of jasmine rice and cook, stirring often for about three minutes. If dry spices such as turmeric and/or coriander are being used, add roughly 1/4 teaspoon of each to the pan before adding the rice. Cook for about 30 seconds until the mixture is fragrant.
When some grains begin to look translucent, add 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock, and season the food with salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and then cover, cooking at a simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until the liquid is fully absorbed.
After the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat, and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in chopped fresh herbs such as cilantro or parsley, dried fruits such as raisins, and chopped nuts such as almonds or pistachios.