Here is how to make Pilau

Pilau is a dish made of rice with origins at the coast but has become one of the most popular dishes in Kenya that you can’t miss in any function. Kenyans love the dish so much that they have come up with localized versions of the same with the most famous being “Pilau Njeri.”

In this article, we will take you through how to prepare this tasty meal that your guests will definitely love.


  • 1 Large Onion chopped
  • 2-3 Garlic cloves crushed
  • A little ginger crushed
  • 2-3 tablespoons ground Pilau Masala (depending on one’s spice preference)
  • 1/2 Kg cubed beef
  • 4 Tomatoes(finely diced or blended) or 450 g tomato paste
  • 2 Cups Rice
  • 3 Cups Hot Water
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking oil as required (2-2.5 tablespoons)


  • Heat the oil in a sufuria, add the onion and ginger.
  • Let this cook over a medium flame until browned.
  • Add the meat and cover the sufuria with a lid and let the meat cook for about three minutes (it is advisable to preboil the meat so as to ensure that it is tender)
  • Add pilau masala and salt while stirring continuously to ensure the spices are well-distributed. (In case your meat is dry and sticking to the sufuria, you can add a little water)
  • Add tomato paste and continue to stir, after which you can add some water (2-3 teaspoons) and bring this to boil after covering the sufuria. The mixture should get the consistency of a thick sauce.
  • Add the washed rice and mix well., proceed to add the 3 cups of water, cover and let this boil over a medium flame for a few about 5 mins.
  • Reduce the heat and allow the rice to simmer while covered.
  • After about 5 minutes of cooking, give the rice a stir using a fork and cover. Repeat the stirring one or two more times to ensure the rice is cooking evenly and does not stick to bottom of sufuria.
  • The rice should cook until all excess water has evaporated.
  • Cook until ready.

The dish may be served accompanied with some kachumbari.