I love Pilau, like honestly speaking, I really love it. I try to put it in my menu like all the time until my family starts asking for something different then I know it’s time to give it a break. Known for being an Indian or Middle Eastern dish, I got to try my first pilau when I was younger and I’m guessing that was the Kenyan version which I learnt to make and still do it the same way I saw back then. I use beef instead of chicken in my pilau but it can also be made plain with no meat at all. For my beef pilau recipe, you will need;
- 400gms beef
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Pilau masala
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- Vegetable oil
- 6 cloves of garlic
- A cup of your favourite rice
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- In a pan on moderate heat, pour in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and put in the onions.
- Stir the onions and leave them to continue cooking. Meanwhile, crush the cloves of garlic and put them aside.
- Continue stirring the onions until they are slightly browned, after two minutes they will start becoming dark brown but not burnt yet.
- Now put in the garlic, tomato paste and pilau masala then stir to mix them altogether.
- At this point, you may think it’s all destroyed and burnt but it’s not, just take care they don’t turn black or else the food will be bitter, trust me.
- Take a cup of water and pour in a quarter into the onion spiced mixture and keep on stirring, the aim here is to cook the onions and garlic until they start looking like a paste by adding water every time it reduces down.
- Continue adding water as the onions continue to cook, cut the meat into bite sized pieces and put aside.
- By this time, your onions will have already started looking like paste and this is when you put in the meat.
- Stir the meat and cover it for a few minutes while you wash your rice.
- After a few minutes, stir it once again and just before the meat is cooked through, put in your rice and stir once again.
- Since you used a cup of rice, pour in 2 cups of water using the same cup you measured the rice in and a quarter more depending on the type of rice you are used to using.
- Stir everything once again, put a lid on and reduce the heat just a bit for it to cook nice and slow.
- After this, you can wait for the rice to be cooked and you will be done or finish it in the oven like I do.
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, then take a piece of parchment paper the size of your pan and soak in by running tap water on it.
- When your rice is just at the really al dente stage, open the lid place the wet parchment by lining it inside on top of the rice then cover and place it in the oven for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, take your pilau out of the oven and let it settle before opening the lid. Then take out the paper, and check if it’s ready.
- Serve and Enjoy.
Note: I add a quarter more of water because I know the rice I use and it tends to need a quarter more to be totally cooked. Finally, you can have your pilau with some kachumbari recipe here, or you can have it with your favourite sauce or salad. If you have any questions or you do try, do comment below.