Delicious Rice Pilaf Ala Nando Recipe for Foodies

Welcome to my kitchen! My name is Ehud, and I am excited to share with you my latest creation – Rice Pilaf Ala Nando recipe. This dish is inspired by the savory flavors found in the African and Portuguese cuisine, specifically in peri-peri sauce – a peppery, tangy concoction that will awaken your taste buds.

But before we delve into what makes this dish so special, let me first clear up any confusion about the spelling of pilaf or pilau. The dish is known by various names depending on the region and the main ingredient used in it. It might be spelled as “pilau,” “pilav,” “palaw,” or “polao” in some rice dish regions, but it generally retains its wheat dish roots. In the Middle East, it is called “pilaf,” while in India and Pakistan, it goes by “pulao.” Whatever you decide to call it, this sumptuous recipe is a must-try.

Rice pilaf is a popular dish whose recipe usually involves cooking stock or broth alongside aromatics like onion and spices with rice. My twist on this classic recipe elevates the dish to another level with its unique blend of seasonings, which include salt, turmeric, chili powder, and cumin. The combination of these ingredients creates a spicy rice that pairs well with chicken or your protein of choice.

Whether you are new to the world of pilaf or are just looking for a fresh take on this classic rice dish, I encourage you to try out my Rice Pilaf Ala Nando recipe. The blend of spices and flavors will undoubtedly excite your palate and make for a memorable meal that you will want to repeat again and again.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Rice Pilaf Ala Nando
Rice Pilaf Ala Nando

If you’re someone who likes to add a little spice to your life, then you’re going to absolutely love this Rice Pilaf Ala Nando Recipe. This recipe is inspired by the famous Nando’s peri-peri sauce, which is well-known for its flavorful and spicy kick.

What makes this rice pilaf recipe so special, you ask? Well, for starters, it’s not your typical run-of-the-mill rice dish. While different regions have their own wheat-based dishes that involve cooking stock or broth, this recipe is unique and offers a tantalizing twist on the more traditional pilau or risotto dishes.

This Rice Pilaf Ala Nando Recipe incorporates aromatic spices like cumin, turmeric, chili powder, and of course, some peri-peri sauce if you’re feeling adventurous! These spices pair perfectly with the fluffy basmati rice to create a savory and satisfying taste explosion.

But what really sets this recipe apart is its versatility. You can serve it alongside a variety of protein options such as chicken, fish or veggies or enjoy it as a standalone meal – either way it will tickle your taste buds in all the right places!

One thing I love about this recipe is how easy it is to make. With just one pot and a few simple steps, you’ll have a delicious rice dish on the table in no time!

So why not switch things up and try something new with this ala nando recipe? The flavors are sure to impress and leave you satisfied after every bite!

Ingredient List

 Aromatic Basmati rice simmered in exotic spices and seasonings.
Aromatic Basmati rice simmered in exotic spices and seasonings.

Before diving into the how-to and tips on this wonderful rice pilaf ala Nando recipe, let’s take a look at the ingredients that you will need to execute it. The list includes bold and flavorful spices such as salt, turmeric, chili powder, and cumin. For the rice itself, we’ll be using basmati rice that will absorb all of those spicy flavors, making it absolutely delicious. Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe:

  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped onion (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of Nando spicy peri-peri sauce (depending on preference)

Note: You can find the peri-peri sauce either online or in a specialty store near you.

The Recipe How-To

 Beautifully fluffy and fragrant with a nutty, earthy flavor.
Beautifully fluffy and fragrant with a nutty, earthy flavor.

Now, onto the good part! I’m excited to share with you how I make my delicious Rice Pilaf Ala Nando Recipe. This spicy rice dish is full of flavor and will become a staple in your kitchen. Let’s get started!


  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped onion (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • ”Nando Spicy Sauce or Peri Peri Sauce” (optional)


  1. Rinse the basmati rice several times until the water runs clear. It helps to soak the rice for about 10 minutes before too.
  2. In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the chopped onion and sauté them for a few minutes until they become soft and translucent.
  4. Now, add the cumin, chili powder, and turmeric. Let it cook for another minute or so until fragrant.
  5. Add the rinsed basmati rice to the pot with spices and onions. Stir well for about two minutes to coat everything evenly.
  6. Add four cups of water to the pot and stir it gently.
  7. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce the heat to low.
  8. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and let it simmer on low heat until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked. This should take about 18 minutes or so.
  9. Once the rice is done cooking, lift off the lid and fluff up the rice with a fork.
  10. (Optional) Pour some Nando Spicy Sauce or Peri Peri Sauce onto your serving dish and mix in with your cooked rice for an added spicier kick.

And voilà! Your delicious Rice Pilaf Ala Nando Recipe is ready to be enjoyed!

Don’t forget that this spicy rice dish pairs beautifully with chicken, seafood or even just veggies for a complete meal.

Enjoy it as is or top it off with some other savory ingredients such as caramelized onions, seasoned chickpeas or diced tomatoes and cucumbers.

I hope this recipe becomes one of your favorites!

Substitutions and Variations

 A perfect addition to any Middle Eastern or Mediterranean meal.
A perfect addition to any Middle Eastern or Mediterranean meal.

One of the best things about cooking is the freedom to tweak and innovate with different ingredients. This rice pilaf ala nando recipe is ripe for delicious substitutions and variations that can take it to a whole new level. Here are some exciting ideas to try out:

– Spicy Substitutes: If you want to add an extra kick to your rice pilaf, you can use Peri-Peri sauce instead of Nando’s spicy sauce. Peri-Peri sauce is a popular hot and tangy condiment commonly used in Mediterranean and Portuguese cuisine. You can also add some cayenne pepper or paprika for an even spicier taste.

– Rice Varieties: While basmati rice offers a flavorful and fluffy texture, you can switch it up by using other rice varieties like jasmine, brown rice or even black rice. Brown rice offers added nutritional value while still providing a rich taste, while black rice has a nutty flavor and added antioxidants.

– Protein Options: While chicken is a traditional protein option for this dish, you could easily substitute it with shrimp, beef chunks or tofu cubes. These options provide more flexibility for dietary restrictions, whether you’re vegetarian or vegan.

– Vegetables and Herbs: Want to pack in some extra nutrients? Add vegetables like peas, carrots, bell peppers or zucchini to the mix. You could also toss in some fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley, which brings a refreshing taste.

Remember to adjust the cooking time, spices and liquid ingredients ratio when swapping ingredients to ensure perfect results. By experimenting with different substitutions and variations, you can create your own unique spin on this fantastic risotto-style dish.

Serving and Pairing

 Vibrant colors and spice blends add an element of visual interest.
Vibrant colors and spice blends add an element of visual interest.

The beautiful thing about this pilaf ala nando recipe is that it can stand alone as a meal or be paired with a variety of dishes, making it one of the most versatile rice recipes out there. One popular pairing is with grilled chicken or beef, especially if you’re looking to incorporate some heat into your meal.

Another option is to serve it alongside a simple salad of mixed greens and vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. The fresh veggies complement the spices in the rice dish perfectly while also adding a burst of color to your plate.

If you’re looking for something heartier, consider serving this rice pilaf with slow-cooked stews or curries. The rice is perfect for soaking up the rich flavors of these dishes, making them even more satisfying.

For those who prefer an entirely vegetarian dish, serve the pilaf along with roasted seasonal vegetables or sautéed mushrooms. You can even add chickpeas or lentils for extra protein and fiber.

As for serving portions, I recommend using about 1/2 to 3/4 cups per person depending on their appetite and what else you will be serving. Don’t hesitate to double or triple the amount if feeding a crowd!

Overall, this rice pilaf ala nando recipe is so versatile that it can be paired with almost any dish you desire. Experiment with different pairings and find out what works best for you and your taste buds.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A savory and mouth-watering side dish that is perfect for entertaining.
A savory and mouth-watering side dish that is perfect for entertaining.

One of the greatest advantages of rice pilaf ala Nando is that it can be made ahead of time and stored easily. This makes it a fantastic recipe choice for busy schedules or meal prep.

To make-ahead, simply follow the recipe as directed, but before the final step of fluffing the rice with a fork, let the pot cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover the pot tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.

When you’re ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and reheat the pot on medium heat. If necessary, add a few tablespoons of water or chicken broth to moisten the rice while reheating.

If you have leftovers after serving, simply transfer them to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When it’s time to enjoy your leftover rice pilaf ala Nando, you can either microwave it or reheat on stove top over medium heat, similar to reheating make-ahead version.

It’s essential to remember that reheated rice must reach a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving. The combination of starchy rice and room temperature storage can result in bacterial growth if not heated properly.

Finally, rice pilaf ala Nando also freezes well. To freeze, transfer cooked and cooled rice into an airtight container or freezer bags and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw frozen pilaf ala Nando, place it in a microwave-safe dish and defrost slowly or transfer it into an oven-safe dish and reheat at 325°F until warmed through.

With these make-ahead and storing tips, you’ll have delicious Nando spicy rice ready whenever you need for however long you need!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Rich, flavorful and easily customized - this is a recipe that everyone will love.
Rich, flavorful and easily customized – this is a recipe that everyone will love.

To get the perfect rice pilaf ala Nando, there are a few tips you have to know. Don’t worry, they’re easy to follow and will help you achieve the ideal texture and flavor of your dish.

Firstly, always make sure to rinse your basmati rice before cooking it. This helps remove any excess starch and debris that may affect the texture and taste of your rice. Use cold water to wash it thoroughly until the water runs clear.

Secondly, when sautéing your onions, cook them until they are soft but not brown. This will ensure that your rice pilaf ala Nando has a beautiful yellow color from the turmeric without having a burnt taste.

Thirdly, be sure to use the exact measurements of spices in the recipe. The combination of chili powder, cumin, and turmeric gives this dish its unique flavor profile, so it’s essential not to overdo it or leave any out.

Fourthly, consider substituting chicken broth for water when cooking your basmati rice for an extra boost of flavor that will complement the spices well.

Fifthly, after adding spices, stir occasionally during cooking to distribute the flavors evenly throughout every grain of rice.

Lastly, let your finished dish sit for five minutes before serving to ensure that every grain is cooked perfectly and settles into place.

Just remember these simple tips when making your rice pilaf ala Nando, and you’ll have a delicious savory rice dish that will delight everyone at the table!


As you prepare to whip up your delicious rice pilaf ala Nando recipe, it is common to have a few questions lingering in your mind. In this section of the article, we will address some of the frequently asked questions and clarify any doubts you may have about this dish. Read on to learn more!

What makes a pilaf a pilaf?

One key difference between rice and pilaf is the type of liquid used in the cooking process. While plain rice typically relies on water, pilaf is elevated by using flavorful broths or stocks made from herbs, spices, and meat or vegetables.

How is rice pilaf different from rice?

When it comes to the subtle nuances of rice dishes, the main contrast lies in the cooking method employed. While “rice” is boiled in plain water without any additional ingredients, “rice pilaf” involves first sautéing aromatics such as onions, garlic, and spices before adding broth to create a seasoned preparation of rice with clearly defined grains.

What is the difference between pilau and pilaf?

Pilaf is a popular dish made from either rice or wheat, sometimes cooked in a broth or stock. It typically includes various spices, vegetables, and meat. To get just the right texture, certain techniques are used to ensure that the grains are cooked separately and do not stick together.

What is the difference between risotto and pilaf?

When comparing risotto and pilaf, one noticeable contrast is their respective consistencies. Risotto tends to have a creamy texture, while pilaf is typically dryer. This variation in consistency is mainly attributed to the way the rice is cooked during the preparation of pilaf. The process involves making sure the rice absorbs all the water while cooking.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, Rice Pilaf Ala Nando Recipe is a delicious and easy-to-make rice dish that will satisfy your taste buds. This recipe combines the flavors of various spices and Basmati rice to bring you an exquisite taste.

Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner, this recipe is perfect for you. With our step-by-step instructions and helpful tips, you can now recreate this mouthwatering recipe at home.

With its spicy flavor, Rice Pilaf Ala Nando Recipe is an excellent side dish to accompany your chicken or other main dishes. It also goes well with Portuguese rice or Mediterrian rice.

So why not spice up your meal with this delightful recipe? Give Rice Pilaf Ala Nando Recipe a try today, and savor the exciting blend of spices that will awaken your senses!

Rice Pilaf Ala Nando

Rice Pilaf Ala Nando Recipe

This rice pilaf recipe captures the spirit and a reasonable approximation of Nando's outstanding Peri Peri Rice. It goes brilliantly with any spicy chicken dish and always gets the compliments when I cook for others. If you have a favourite way of preparing pilaf, just skip ahead to the seasoning and proceed. Omit the onion for a more directly Nando's experience.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Calories 376.3 kcal


  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan with an available cover.
  • Stir in the onion over medium heat until softened, 3-5 minutes.
  • Stir in the rice until it just starts to turn colour, 3-5 minutes.
  • Stir in the cumin, chilli powder, turmeric and salt.
  • Pour in the chicken stock, stir once, turn the heat to medium-low and cover for 15 minutes or until the water is just absorbed. Leave the rice undisturbed until told otherwise!
  • Set the burner to ultra-ultra low for an additional 15 minutes, just high enough to keep the rice hot. Cycle the burner, buy a better pan, do what it takes to keep the rice hot but not cooking.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 269gCalories: 376.3kcalCarbohydrates: 59.8gProtein: 9.5gFat: 10.9gSaturated Fat: 1.9gCholesterol: 4.5mgSodium: 808.5mgFiber: 2.8gSugar: 3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You

None found