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5 from 8 votes
winter vegetable pilau rice
Baked Winter Vegetable Pilau Rice
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins

Despite the rather long list of ingredients, this is a straight-forward recipe. And, with its layers of tastes and textures, really well worth the small effort to make it. Warmly spiced, savoury vegetable rice, cooked in its own sauce - make it and enjoy the leftovers!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, vegan
Keyword: pilau, rice, roasted vegetables, winter
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 433 kcal
Author: kellie anderson
Roasted vegetables
  • 250 g cauliflower chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 250 g beetroot peeled and sliced into wedges
  • 220 g celeriac peeled and cubed
  • 350 g red cabbage cut into manageable chunks; optional
  • 150 g carrots sliced into thick coins
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground fenugreek optional
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or cold-pressed rapeseed oil (UK)
  • 1 tsp salt
Cooking Sauce and Rice
  • 250 g basmati rice rinsed until the water runs clear*
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or cold-pressed rapeseed oil (UK)
  • 1 red onion peeled and shopped or sliced
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 8 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
  • 3 "finger" chillies chopped, seeds out if liked
  • 15 g gingerroot peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 30 g coriander/cilantro optional (this does make the rice rather green!)
  • 2 tsp nigella seeds
  • 200 g cooked chickpeas
A Simple Yogurt Drizzle
  • 100 ml plain yogurt of choice coconut, dairy, soy, almond
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 30 g coriander/cilantro if not using in the cooking sauce (above)
Roasting the Vegetables
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C fan/220C/425F. Gather two large baking trays, a large mixing bowl, blender or food processor.

  2. Mix the spices and oil in a small bowl. Pop the cauliflower (and red cabbage if using) in the large bowl and sprinkle with up to half of the mixture. Toss until well-coated. Lay the florets on one baking tray in an even layer.

  3. Put the beetroot, celeriac and carrot in the bowl and add the remaining spice oil, tossing well. Pour the vegetables onto the second baking tray in an even layer. If there isn't room for all, scooch the cauliflower down its tray a bit and add the overflow vegetables.

  4. Place both trays in the preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes. Remove the cauliflower (and cabbage) and roast the remaining - hard - vegetables for a further 10 minutes, or until tender. Keep the oven on, and lay the vegetables to the side for now.

Cooking Sauce and Rice
  1. Meanwhile make the cooking sauce and rinse the rice. For the rice, put it in a fine sieve and rinse it, using your hands to gently "massage" it, until the water is mainly clear. This will help the rice to stay nicely separate during the cooking process. Don't bother if this seems too much faff. Leave it in the sieve for now.

  2. For the sauce, fry the onion in a large, lidded oven-proof casserole dish (such as a cast iron pot), adding the salt. Stir occasionally over eight minutes, until golden and fragrant. While the onions are cooking, add all the remaining sauce ingredients - except the chickpeas - to a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth. Add this sauce to the onions, along with the rinsed rice, cooked chickpeas and 350 ml of just-boiled water. Bring back up to the boil, pop on the lid and place in the oven to steam-bake for 15 minutes.

  3. Remove from the oven and stir in the roasted vegetables, replacing the lid. Steam-bake a further 10 minutes, depending on how absorbent the rice is. You want the rice cooked and fluffy when lifted with a fork.

Yogurt Sauce
  1. Mix together the ingredients and serve in a jug with the Pilau. If you are using the coriander here instead of the cooking sauce, mix up in a blender. Season to taste.

Recipe Notes


I have both cauliflower and red cabbage in, but as they are very similar you may want to leave one of them out. This won't change the overall dish.


As stated in the recipe, you can use the coriander/cilantro in either the cooking sauce or the yogurt sauce. The former will colour the rice (as shown). Either tastes great. My daughter has tasted this both ways and prefers the coriander in the yogurt sauce. Go with whichever.


You may prefer a different - or no - protein. I used cooked chickpeas, but if this is part of a larger meal, leave them out if you wish. The chickpeas make it a more complete meal. Use 200 or so grams of leftover cooked turkey (if after Thanksgiving), chicken or lamb if you wish.

Nutrition Facts
Baked Winter Vegetable Pilau Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 433 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 2mg1%
Sodium 1033mg45%
Potassium 837mg24%
Carbohydrates 63g21%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 5615IU112%
Vitamin C 68mg82%
Calcium 128mg13%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.