Pilaf is a dish in which rice is cooked in a seasoned broth. In some cases, the rice may attain its brown or golden colour by first being sauteed lightly in oil before the addition of broth. Cooked onion, other vegetables, as well as a mix of spices, may be added. Depending on the local cuisine, it may also contain meat, fish, vegetables, pasta, and dried fruit.
Pilaf and similar dishes are common to Balkan, Middle Eastern, Caucasian, Central and South Asian, East African, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisines. It is a staple food and a national dish in Afghan, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Balochi, Bangladeshi, Bukharan Jewish, Cretan, Indian, Iranian, Kazakh, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Pakistani, Swahili (Kenyan, Tanzanian-Zanzibari), Tajik, Turkish, Uyghur, and Uzbek cuisines.