How to Prepare a Scrumptious East African Pilau Rice


Have you ever tasted the east African pilau rice? Well, if you haven’t, you need to try this new recipe in your kitchen, and leave your family and friends begging for more. Preparations are easy and will only take 35-40 minutes so you do not have to spend hours in the kitchen or keep your loved ones waiting for long.

What is Pilau rice?

Pilau rice is intensively seasoned rice majorly prepared in the east African Swahili regions. The dish is a great pick for vegans and meat lovers as well. Though the preparation may differ, the dish is normally spiced with loads of curry powder, cinnamon, pepper flakes, bell pepper, cardamom, onions, garlic powder, star anise, cardamom, cumin, jalapenos pepper, ginger, bay leaf. Coconut milk is also used to make it tastier.

Cook time: 40 mins

Serves: 5-6

Difficulty: medium


  • Basmati rice 2 cups
  • Coconut milk or broth 2 cups
  • Water 2 cups
  • 3 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 chopped onion ( medium)
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. cumin spice
  • 2 tbsp. garlic
  • Pepper flake 1 tbsp.
  • ½ tbsp. star anise
  • 1 tbsp. ginger
  • 1 small chopped bell pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tbsp. cardamom spice
  • ½ tbsp. paprika (smoked)
  • 1 tbsp. black or white pepper
  • ½ tbsp. curry spice
  • 1 deseeded and chopped Jalapeno pepper
  • ½ cup of cashew


How to prepare

  • Put cooking oil on your cooking pan and heat on medium heat
  • Sauté the cashew for about two to three minutes
  • Add curry, cumin, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon stick, paprika, and cardamom together and stir for about 1minute
  • Add ginger, onions, garlic, and jalapeno pepper and cook it for another one minute.
  • Put your bell pepper and tomatoes then cook for three minutes
  • Add your rice and leave it to boil for 2 minutes
  • Add your coconut milk or water
  • Add your salt and simmer it
  • Reduce the heat and cook it for about 20 minutes
  • When ready, remove your bay leaf and cinnamon stick. serve

In case you wish to enjoy it the vegan way, you can prepare kachumbari.


  • Coriander (dhania) leaves
  • 1 onion
  • 1 chili pepper chopped and deseeded
  • 2 or 3 tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. Vinegar
  • Salt

How to prepare

  • Clean your tomatoes, onions, coriander, and chili then cut them into fine Julienne pieces
  • Put them on a salad bowl
  • Add vinegar and salt together then mix them using your hands
  • Ready to serve

Tip : Avoid using Chilli and vinegar when preparing the salad for children

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