How to Make Simple Beef Pilau

Beef Pilau

This beef pilau recipe is one that you will get right every single time you make it. The aroma of this dish is inviting and warming, and it is an extremely popular Kenyan dish.

Beef Pilau Recipe

Most pilau’s often have the same method of preparing the base, so once you get that right, you have mastered the art of making any type of pilau.


• 1½ cups of rice

• 1 large onion, finely chopped

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

• 1 chicken bouillon or 2 beef cubes

• 1 Tbsp. tomato paste

• 1 kg of beef cubes

• 2 carrots, peeled and chopped

• ½ tsp. turmeric powder

• salt and pepper, to taste

• 1 tbsp whole cumin seeds

• ½ tsp Whole Pepper

• 2 Cinnamon sticks

• 2 cloves

• 2 cardamom


1. Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.

2. Add the beef cubes to a large pan, add enough to just cover the meat. Add the chicken bouillon/beef cubes, half the ginger, ½ tablespoon onions, and half the garlic. Stir and cook for an hour, or until the meat becomes tender. Once done, take off the heat and set aside. Save any of the remaining water for later use.

3. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Fry the whole spices, except the cinnamon stick, until fragrant. Add the onions and saute until brown and caramelized, stir to keep from burning. Next, add the remaining garlic and ginger paste. Stir for another minute or so.

4. Add the turmeric powder, and about a teaspoon of the coriander leaves and stir. The aroma will be amazing at this point. Now, add the beef cubes and season with salt and pepper to your preference.

5. Stir in the rice, once mixed well add the water from step one and another 1½ cups of water. Add the cinnamon sticks, cover the pot, and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to extremely low and cook for 10 -15 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed.

6. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with kachumbari.

Tips: If any pilau is leftover, store in the fridge for up to two days. Shape into small patties, and pan-fry with a little oil and serve with ketchup or relish of your choice. $ads={2}
Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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