Beef Pilau Served With Kachumbari

Pilau is to Kenyans what biryani is to Indians. No celebration is complete without it. From weddings to parties, holidays to festivals, pilau is an absolute must for all special occasions. Kenya’s diversity reflects on its cuisine too. Over the years, Indians, Arabs, and Chinese have heavily influenced this East African nation. No wonder you can find its traces on their plate of food as well.

Spices, rice and your choice of meat make pilau irresistible. Unlike East African food, Swahili dishes are known for their wide usage of spices. That’s why the pilau comes across as a Swahilian signature dish. Traditionally, it’s cooked on a coal stove. You will often see large pots of pilau being freshly prepared for important events. Just the aroma in the air can make your stomach growl with hunger.

While this recipe uses beef, you can also make it with chicken or mutton. Caramelizing the meat enhances the taste. It’s usually cooked in a single pot and seasoned with a personalized concoction of spices. It’s usually not as spicy as the Indian version but is equally flavoursome. If you are trying your hand at pilau for the first time, there’s always the readymade pilau spice mixture available in every Kenyan grocery store. Basmati rice is the most preferred option and adds additional fragrance.


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