Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pilau (Seasoned Rice Dish)

I made Pilau for my family as our Easter meal. I'm sad to say that after almost 10 years of marriage, it's the first time I've made it. It's sad because it was so darn easy! I should have been making it every week for years.
When I lived in Mombasa, Pilau was one of my favorite dishes. There was(is) a restaurant just down from the Mombasa Post Office called Little Chefs. They had great Pilau and Kachumbari. I always assumed it was a difficult dish to make because on several occasions I saw it made at the school where I worked and it seemed to take all day. Now, I have no idea what was being done because I can have it on the table i less than 45 minutes. Most of that time is simmering, with no work on my part. This recipe can be adjusted for more or less meat, different vegetables, more rice...whatever you need. I haven't had coconut milk in my pantry in a while because of the high cost. I opted to use chicken broth instead of the coconut.


1 T oil
1 onion, diced
minced garlic
2t Pilau  Masala (or 1/2 t each of: black pepper, cumin, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, cinnamon)

1 lb meat: beef, lamb, chicken; in small pieces
2 c frozen vegetables (peas are a great option)
1 1/2 c Basmati rice
1 c coconut milk (or 1 1/2 c broth/water with bullion)
1 t salt
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped (or a 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes)

- Heat the oil and then saute onion and garlic until clear. Add spices and saute for about 2-5 minutes; don't burn them.
-Stir in the meat and cook on medium until cooked to desired tenderness.
-Add vegetables (if they are hard, cook 2 minutes. If tender like peas, move to next step.)
-Add rice and liquid.
-Stir and bring to boil.
-Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook 20 minutes.
-Serve with Kachumbari or cabbage slaw.

WARNING: This is such a delicious dish it may be addictive!!!