Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (2024)

Published: by Abi Olayiwola · This post may contain affiliate links ·

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If you’re looking for a different way to eat rice or looking to wow your guests next time you’re hosting, then you must try this easy Kenyan beef pilau rice recipe.

Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (1)

What Is Kenyan Pilau Rice?

Kenyan pilau rice is a simple dish of rice flavoured with meat stock and spices and sometimes cooked with vegetables. This aromatic rice dish is commonly served at parties and occasions, usually with kachumbari (tomato & cucumber salad). Similar to jollof rice in West Africa, it is always present on Eid, Christmas and other special occasions. Kenyan pilau rice is also known as Swahili pilau rice and East African pilau rice.

Pilau dish is common in India and the Middle Eastern countries, each with its way of preparing it. The East African pilau rice is common in countries around the Swahili coast like Kenya and Tanzania; hence, it is also called Swahili pilau. Although there are a lot of Indian influences in the local cuisine of the countries around the Swahili coast, The Kenyan or Swahili pilau is more similar in appearance to the Middle Eastern version with a light brown colour than the Indian pilau with bright yellow colour from the addition of turmeric.

Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (2)

How To Cook Kenyan Beef Pilau

Here are the ingredients you need for the beef pilau recipe...

Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (3)

Beef

Onion

Garlic

Ginger

Bay leaves

Salt

Sunflower oil

Ground Cloves

Ground Cumin

Ground cinnamon

Ground cardamom

Pepper flakes

Rice

A few notes about the ingredients...

  • Rice: I used and recommend golden basmati to get the best pilau rice. Its appeal apart from its distinct flavour, is its ability to hold its texture during cooking; which makes it less likely to become sticky. It is also fluffy and works well in most rice dishes. If you don’t have golden basmati; then other types of basmati or long grain non-stick rice are recommended for this simple pilau recipe with meat.
  • Beef: This is a beef pilau recipe. You can also have chicken pilau, goat meat pilau etc. Basically, the beef in the pilau can be substituted with other meats or replaced with vegetables like mushrooms to make it suitable for vegetarians
  • Spices: Traditionally, whole spices for pilau are roasted and ground, but I have used already ground spices from my cupboard for convenience. You can use whole spices if preferred. Before grinding with mortar and pestle, you’ll need to toast the whole spices in a pan. If you don’t keep many different spices in your cupboard, pilau spice (pilau masala) is available already mixed. You can find it in Asia and Mediterranean stores. You will need two tablespoons of pilau masala for 2 cups of rice.
  • Pepper: I used pepper flakes because I didn’t have black pepper at home when I wanted to make this recipe. You can substitute with black pepper powder.

How To Make It...

Peel the onions and garlic cloves.

Wash the beef and add into a pan. Slice in one onion and 2 garlic cloves with the ginger. Add bay leaves, with a cup of water and some salt to taste.

Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (4)

Cook until the beef is tender, then remove from heat. Keep the meet chunks and stock to one side.

Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (5)

Chop the remaining onion and garlic.

Wash the rice and repeat until the water runs clear.

In another pan, heat the oil under low heat. Add the onions into the pot and cook until the onions start to caramelize and become brown. You should stir the onions with a wooden spoon continuously to prevent burning.

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Pour in the garlic and the ground spices. The brownish colour comes from the brown spices. Stir for 30 secs.

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Add the rice into the pot. Pour in the stock and meat chunks. Add more water so there is enough to cook the rice (read the rice pack instructions). Taste for salt and add more if needed.

Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (8)

Cover the allow the rice to cook until all the moisture is absorbed.

Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (9)

Other East Afircan recipes to try are;

Ugandan Rolex

Kachumbari

Kuku Paka

Irio

Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (10)

Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (11)

Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice

Abi Olayiwola

Kenyan beef pilau is a simple dish of rice flavoured with meat stock and spices. This aromatic rice dish is commonly served at parties and occasions.

4.43 from 21 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 1 hour hr

Total Time 1 hour hr 15 minutes mins

Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course

Cuisine East African, Kenyan

Servings 4

Calories 675 kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Peel the onions and garlic cloves.

  • Wash the beef and add into a pan. Slice in one onion and 2 garlic cloves with the ginger. Add bay leaves, with a cup of water and some salt to taste.

  • Cook until the beef is tender, then remove from heat. Keep the meet chunks and stock to one side.

  • Chop the remaining onion and garlic.

  • Wash the rice and repeat until the water runs clear.

  • In another pan, heat the oil under low heat. Add the onions into the pot and cook until the onions start to caramelize and become brown. You should stir the onions with a wooden spoon continuously to prevent burning.

  • Pour in the garlic and the ground spices. Stir for 30 secs.

  • Add the rice into the pot. Pour in the stock and meat chunks. Add more water so there is enough to cook the rice (read the rice pack instructions). Taste for salt and add more if needed.

  • Cover the allow the rice to cook until all the moisture is absorbed.

Nutrition

Calories: 675kcalCarbohydrates: 86gProtein: 19gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 52mgPotassium: 397mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 11IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 3mg

Keyword Kenyan pilau, Swahili pilau

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Comments

  1. Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (12)Andy Stuart

    Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (13)
    I made this the other day, but substituted chicken and bacon for the beef, was a little overpowered by cloves, so next time I’ll only use 1/2tsp instead, but it was well received even my fussy eater son enjoyed it and had seconds! Easy to follow recipe and took just over an hour to prepare and cook.

    Reply

    • Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (14)Abi Olayiwola

      I'm glad you enjoyed the Kenyan pilau. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply

  2. Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (15)shellah

    last week nilijaribu kupika pilau with your recipe pilau ilikuwa tamu mama

    Reply

  3. Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (16)Jack

    Kia ora from Aotearoa New Zealand 😀

    I made my family this pilau and they loved it, even grandad went in for seconds. Thank you for uploading.

    Reply

  4. Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (17)Jack

    Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (18)
    Oops forgot to rate! Five stars

    Reply

    • Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (19)Abi Olayiwola

      Thanks Jack.

      Reply

  5. Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (20)Damaris

    Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (21)
    Tried today,.. loved it!!!

    Reply

  6. Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (22)Caleb Datror

    The recipe was super easy to follow. Thanks so much

    Reply

  7. Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (23)Catherine Mutheu

    Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (24)
    The recipe was very easy to prepare and my daughter who is a picky eater enjoyed it alot and even asked for more.

    Reply

    • Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (25)Abi Olayiwola

      That's good to know Catherine. Thank you very much for the feedback.

      Reply

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Easy Kenyan Beef Pilau Rice Recipe · eat well abi (2024)
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