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Aromatic pilaff

by Stephen McLaughlin
Andrew Fairlie, United Kingdom

I worked with Andrew since the age of 17. We continue to carry on his ethos with an emphasis on produce, flavour, and an underlying simplicity. Every Chef thinks their larder is the best, but in Scotland this really is the case.

Aromatic pilaff

    6 PERS.
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200g Basmati rice
3 tsp cumin seeds
1.5 tbsp coriander seeds
0.5 tsp cracked fennel seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
Saffron, one pinch
4 cloves
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp fine sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
250g cooked puy lentils
350ml cold water


Heat the oil in a medium-sized, heavy based pan that has a tight- fitting lid. Add the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds and toast evenly until they release their distinctive aromas (1 to 2 minutes). Add the rice to the pan, along with the remaining spices, sugar, and salt. Stir to coat the rice with the oil and spices and add the lentils in a single layer. Add the water and bring gently to a simmer, then cover the pan with its lid, and reduce heat to very low. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and lift the lid. Quickly cover the pan with a clean tea towel and replace the lid. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and tea towel and gently fork to fluff the rice. Turn into a warmed serving dish and serve.

If eating the rice on its own, try adding some fried onions, a little strained yogurt and a flat bread. As a partner with Krug Grande Cuvée, it can also make a great accompaniment to lots of main dishes - tandoori fish, spiced eggplant - the opportunities are endless.

The warm spices of the rice marry beautifully with Krug Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition, particularly the fennel seeds, cinnamon, and cloves, while the Champagne accentuates the nuttiness and earthy qualities of the lentils.
Krug Grande Cuvée
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