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The Best Pilau Recipe

If there is one thing that most Kenyans can agree on, pilau is one of the best meals in the country.
This spicy yet sweet rice dish originating from the coastal area spread across the land. Today, you will find it in every home, supermarket, restaurant and eatery in variations.
The dish combines rice with aromatic spices, chicken or beef. It adds depth to the plainness of white or brown rice. And if you have never made it yourself, then you should learn how to.
It is necessary to point out that this is a traditionally spicy dish. Therefore, it might not be the best for people with acidity and other digestive problems.
If you are in the clear or would love to impress with your cooking skills, then get started below.

Ingredients You Need

To make pilau, you need the following ingredients to serve eight people:

  • 60 ml vegetable oil
  • Two medium-sized thinly-sliced red onions
  • Diced Chilies
  • Four minced garlic cloves
  • Two tablespoons minced ginger
  • Pilau masala
  • Two beef cubes
  • One cinnamon stick
  • 10 grams chopped coriander
  • 400 grams cubed beef
  • Three large tomatoes
  • 400 grams peeled potatoes cut into chunks
  • 400 grams rice
  • 4 cups of water

You can make your own pilau masala to eliminate adding spices as you go along. Just mix

  • One tablespoon paprika
  • Two teaspoons ground cumin
  • One teaspoon black pepper
  • One teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

How to Cook Pilau

  • First, you need to make the pilau masala. So combine the spices listed in a bowl, then set it aside.
    Also, wash the rice and leave it to dry.
  • Next, get a large sufuria or cooking pot and set it on medium to high heat. Pour the oil and add the onions while the oil is still cold. Stir the onions for 10 to 25 minutes until they turn dark brown. Be alert not to burn the onions as it will affect the flavour of the rice.
  • Next, add the garlic, ginger, chillies, beef cubes, pilau masala, cinnamon stick, and coriander. Stir them in and mix well to ensure they cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. Again be alert not to burn the ingredients, and instead cook until it attains a blended aroma.
  • Next, you can add the beef and cook. It takes about 8 minutes to cook well. Keep stirring the meat and add a few drops of water to prevent it from sticking to the pan. You can add a dash of dark soy sauce to help darken the beef once it thoroughly cooks.
  • After the beef is ready, add the tomatoes and let them cook. Cover the sufuria and let the tomatoes cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Some people use tomato paste instead of fresh tomatoes. Note that either choice is good, but fresh tomatoes give you moist rice that does not dry out as quickly.
  • Next, you can add the potatoes and water then let the contents boil. Boiling will soften the potatoes and mix them with the other ingredients without robbing the food of flavour and aroma. Ensure that the potatoes cook but do not turn too soft and turn mushy. Ten minutes of cooking will do.
  • Finally, you can add the rice. Stir it in, reduce the heat, and cover the sufuria. Cook on low heat until the water absorbs and the rice cooks evenly.
  • After the water absorbs, you can cover the pilau with aluminium foil to give an oven-like effect that does not overcook the rice but keeps the meal hot.
  • Finally, you can serve with freshly prepared kachumbari, avocado, and fresh juice.

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