Weekend Meal Prep: How to cook Pilau for your family

Pilau is one of the most popular dishes in Kenyan homes.

Many people fail at making pilau the Swahili way, with many such dishes called ‘Pilau Njeri’, meaning ‘fake pilau’ because of the way it’s prepared.

It is a coastal dish served with kachumbari. It can be cooked with beef, chicken, mutton, soya etc.

In Kenya, a wedding without pilau on the menu is a no no. It’s a staple food for all, whether you looking to make it over the weekend for your children or family its an easy meal prep and it will take you very minimal time to prepare it to be consumed even the following day.

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Simple steps of making pilau:


I kg Rice
1 kg meat
1/2 kg onions
1/2 kg tomatoes sliced or blended
1/2 Kg potatoes peeled and quartered
1 bulb Garlic
1 piece fresh Ginger
2 teaspoons cummin seeds
6-8 peppercorns
6 cloves
2-4 cinnamon sticks
4 cardamom pods
125 ml cooking oil

Read Also: Comfort food: How to make homemade chicken fried rice

 Steps of cooking,

Pound the garlic and ginger together. Wash rice and keep it ready.

 Fry onions in the oil until soft add the garlic and ginger and go on frying until you get a smooth mixture.  Make sure the garlic and ginger are cooked and their flavours absorbed  by the onions.

Now add meat which is cut into big pieces and mix together.

Then add the tomato puree  stirring all the time. Let it cook a moderate  heat for a few minutes, then add the spice.

Put in the washed rice with water. Do not add too much water until you see the rice absorbing it. Remember for every 2 cups of rice, you add twice the cup of water.

Add potatoes towards the end of the cooking.

Simmer the rice until it’s ready. Cover and reduce the heat let it cook for 10 -15 minutes to separate the grains.

Serve pilau with kachumbari and fried red chilly and a banana.

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