How to Prepare Kenyan Pilau

Pilau is a traditional, beautiful rice dish, native to Kenya, East Africa made with several pure and natural spices that adds an amazing depth of flavor to the dish.


Pilau is served on special occasions or events. It is made with rice cooked in a well-seasoned meat or chicken broth. Pilau is made of cumin seeds, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamoms and several other ingredients. Pilau is also eaten in Tanzania.


Basmati Rice

Diced beef or chicken

Beef or chicken broth

Crushed garlic, ginger and cloves.

Bay leaves (optional)

Cooking oil



Finely chopped Serrano chile




Ingredients for Pilau Masala

Ground cloves

Ground cumin seeds

Stick Cinnamon

Black Pepper

Ground Cardamoms



In a bowl, mix the Pilau masala ingredients and set aside.

In a pot, add the oil and diced onions and sauté for 10 minutes, until dark brown. Add ginger, garlic, serrano chile, pilau masala, seasoning, cinnamon stick and cilantro. Cook for a few minutes, at least till the fragrance comes out.

Then, add the beef/chicken and cook until brown. Add the tomatoes and cook for five minutes. Add the potatoes and water and bring to a boil. Afterwards, add rice, stir and cover lid. Cook for 20 minutes on a medium-low heat until the water is absorbed.

Your Pilau is ready to serve.


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Written by Monsurat

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