How to cook Simple Swahili Pilau


Pilau is a favorite dish in the Kenyan coastal region. It is a rice dish in which the rice is cooked in either beef, chicken or mutton stock and various spices.

Mutton Pilau


mutton pilau



  • 2 cups washed rice
  • 1 pound meat(mutton/beef/lamb/chicken)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 table spoonfuls Tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoonfuls of Pilau masala
  • 1 teaspoonful salt
  • 6 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 4 cups boiled hot water

Cooking Time

  • 2 hours


  1. Clean and dice the meat into cubes and bring to boil in a cooking pot until tender(ensure that it is not too much tender since it still need to be cooked). If there is still water in it, drain it and put aside to be used later.
  2. Once the meat is completely dry, pour in cooking oil and let the meat brown as you stir.
  3. Add in the onions and crushed garlic and let cook till onions turn golden brown
  4. Stir in the tomato paste and salt and let cook for 30 seconds
  5. add the Pilau masala and stir for 20 secs
  6. Add the washed and properly drained rice and stir continuously until the rice is evenly coated with the previous ingredients
  7. pour in the hot water and also the drained meat broth and stir lightly
  8. Let it cook until the water is almost at the same level with the rice then lower the heat to medium and cover the cooking pot.
  9. Cover the rice and bring to a simmer until the rice is completely dry
  10. Turn off the heat and let sit for a few minutes
  11. Serve hot with Kachumbari

KitchenAid Mixer – Link Monetized by VigLink


You can add as many spices as you like to the dish, this is just a simple version. Pilau can also be enjoyed with a cold soft drink.