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Pink Rice - Beetroot Pilaf Recipe

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes


‘This packs a punch on the veg front and will have your children calling for more “pink rice”,’ says chef and mum-of-three Claire Thomson.

1. Put the rice in a sieve and rinse under cold running water.

2. Put the olive oil into a heavy-bottomed medium pan (one with a tight-fitting lid) over a moderate heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes, until translucent and soft. Add the garlic and spices and cook for 3 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of salt.

3. Add the rice and move around the pan to coat with the oil, spices, onions and garlic for one minute.

4. Mix in the grated beetroot. 

5. Pour boiling water (from the kettle) over the beetroot and rice until the mix is just submerged in water. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Gently turn over with a big spoon halfway through cooking. Simmer until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has gone – about 15–20 minutes. 

6. When the rice is cooked, put a clean tea towel under the lid, then re-seal the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes. The tea towel will remove extra moisture in the rice and make the pilaf extra-fluffy.

7. In a large dry frying pan, gently toast your seeds with a pinch of salt until they turn golden brown and begin to crackle. Put them in a bowl.

8. In a separate bowl, mix the Greek yoghurt with a pinch of salt and the garlic. Slick the top of the seasoned yoghurt with some olive oil. 

9. Roughly chop the coriander.

10. Spoon the rice on to plates and add a blob of yoghurt, some herbs and toasted seeds to each portion. Serve with lemon quarters.

Pregnant? Beetroot contains iron and vitamin C which are both important when you’re pregnant.

Recipe adapted from The 5 0'Clock Apron by Claire Thomson (£16.59, Ebury Press). Photography by Mike Lusmore.




Mash up some plain rice with some breast milk.

Finger Food

Serve chunky pieces of beetroot with plain rice.
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