Definition of pilau in English:

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Pronunciation: /pɪˈlaʊ/
Pronunciation: /ˈpiːlaʊ/
(also pulao)


[mass noun]
A Middle Eastern or Indian dish of rice (or sometimes wheat) cooked in stock with spices, typically having added meat or vegetables.
Example sentences
  • I decided to choose my old, reliable favourite, Chicken Madras with mushroom pilau.
  • The main feature of a big meal is a rice pilau, which is rice cooked with meats or vegetables.
  • Serve with crispy potato cakes or a saffron pilau.


Early 17th century: Persian pulaw, pilāv, Hindi pulāv, from Sanskrit pulāka 'ball of rice', probably from Dravidian. Compare with pilaf.

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