Kenya – Beef Pilau

By David Ndichu


Pilau is a typical local dish from the Kenyan coast. The dish had its origin from there since the coastal people are known to have high appetite of spicy food. Before introduction of rice farming in Kenya in 1907 the Arabs who had earlier visited the Eastern African Coast introduced spices such as cloves, saffron, black peppers, cardamom and cumin which when blended produced a heady, intoxicating aroma. With this the coastal people intermarried producing a new brand of people known as Swahilis who took the Arabs Culture and also their dishes which involved much spices.

Pilau is of many varieties, it depends on what ingredients you are using to prepare it. Some the varieties includes: beef pilau, chicken pilau, vegetable pilau, pilau masala popular at the coast, Swahili pilau (pilau pilaf). The Swahili pilau and Masala have been ranked to be the best pilau dishes in Kenya due to their great of spices.


Ingredients needed

  1. 250 g beef
  2. 400 g pishori rice, washed and soaked for 15 minutes
  3. 2 onions chopped
  4. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  5. 1/2 coriander powder
  6. 1/2 cumin powder
  7. Vegetable cooking oil
  8. 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  9. Chopped coriander
  10. 3 tomatoes
  11. Whole spices
  12. 1 TBS cumin
  13. 1/2 tsp whole pepper
  14. 2 cinnamon sticks
  15. 2 cloves 2 cardamom


  1. Slice the meat into pieces and wash, at that point bubble with a few water for, 1 tsp each of ginger and garlic glue, 1 tsp of salt, tsp of dark pepper, 1 ground tomato and 1 ground onion.
  2. When the meat is delicate, deplete it and set aside. Keep the soup for cooking rice.
  3. Warm the sufuria on a medium warm and include the oil. At that point include the entire flavors that are cumin, cardamom, Pepper, cinnamon and cloves. Once they splutter within the oil, include chopped onions.
  4. Sear them until translucent whereas mixing them with a spoon. In case you need darker pilau, sear the onions until they are dull and caramelised. At that point include tumeric and coriander powder. Let them broil too many minutes at that point include the garlic glue and a bit of chopped coriander.
  5. Presently you’ll include the bubbled meat the mix together for 2 minutes. At that point include soup and a few salts. Let the soup stew and taste for the salt. Make beyond any doubt you put sufficient salt since of the rice.
  6. When the soup begins bubbling, deplete the rice and include rice to the soup. Sprinkle a bit of coriander on it and blend a small. Let it cook on a tall warm for 3 minutes at that point diminish to a medium warm and keep cooking whereas secured until the water wraps up.
  7. Make beyond any doubt you mix each presently and after that to form sure all the rice is cooked evenly and superbly. At that point you’ll diminish the warm to a really moo warm and take off it to proceed steaming for 5 minutes. Switch off the warm and serve with Kachumbari.


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