Squid Ink Pilaf

Squid ink is a gorgeous addition to rice or curries to create a briny ocean flavor - goes great with fish or shrimp curries or roasts.

Makes 4 servings | 1 hour


1 cup basmati rice

1/2 cup moong dal

3 Tbsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 cup onions, finely minced

1 Tbsp ginger puree

1 tsp black pepper

3-4 mace pods

2 tsp squid ink

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups water

 1/2 cup green peas

1 cup fresh chopped herbs


  1. Combine the basmati rice and moong dal and rinse them in cold water 2-3 times. Then soak them for 20-30 minutes up to 4 hours. 

  2. In a stockpot, heat up the ghee and when shimmering but not yet smoking, add the cumin seeds until they pop (usually 2-3  seconds). Immediately add the minced onions and cook them on medium heat for 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add the ginger puree, black pepper and mace pods. Cook for another minute or two on medium to low heat.

  3. Add the squid ink, water, salt and rice; bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and let it cook for another 8-10 minutes. Just before the rice is done, add the peas and turn the heat off. Let the rice rest for 10-12 minutes. Toss gently with the herbs and serve.

    ideas / variations

  4. Any lentils will do however be sure to pick a small one so the cooking time is close to the rice. 

  5. Squid ink is available at most seafood shops in small tubes. 

  6. To amp the pilaf up a bit, add one finely minced serrano pepper.