The difference between rice and rice pilaf …
Steamed rice is just that – steamed rice. It makes an ideal side dish because it is essentially a blank canvas. It can be flavored with any seasoning, cheese or vegetable to mold to your specific taste. Rice can be made into different kinds of rice like fried, or Mexican or dirty.
Rice pilaf is steamed rice with built-in flavor, usually from a seasoned broth. Pilaf provides a flavor that is strong enough to be eaten as is, or can be the starting point for a side dish full of vegetables and other seasonings.