Kenyan Pilau Rice

by Keesha
Keesha's Kenyan Pilau Rice

Pilau Rice is one of the African dishes which can be easily prepared in advance and kept in the fridge for a few days to save time during a busy week. The Kenyan delicacy is a burst of tropical flavors enriched with spices such as cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. Often mixed with bits of meat, it is ideal to be served with Kachumbari.

Traditionally, it is served at special occasions such as weddings, birthdays and public holidays. The most authentic variations will be found at the Kenyan coast where it traces its origins. Due to its popularity, Kenyan hotels and restaurants across the country are however offering this delicious dish as an integral part of their menu.

Pilau Rice

By Keesha Serves: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 cups Basmati rice, washed
  • 1/2 kg beef
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cups of hot water or broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • 1 fresh Ginger, crushed
  • Tomato paste
  • Turmeric (Ground)
  • 2-3 teaspoon Pilau spices
  • Salt



Boil beef with ginger for 10 minutes.


Then set aside (separate the cooked ingredients from the broth so you can use it later)


Heat oil and fry onions until they are light brown


Add garlic, pilau spices and turmeric and fry for 1 minute on low heat


Add tomatoes paste, meat and cook till tender


Add rice and ensure to mix everything very well


Add the broth or hot water then stir the mixture very well


Add salt to taste then cover the pot and cook on medium heat


When the food is nearly dry, lower the heat to very low,


Cover your Pilau with aluminum foil and place the lid on top.


Leave to cook for another 10 minutes.


Serve your Pilau hot with Kachumbari or add banana as garnish.

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