#SundayRice: Swahili Pilau

I always wanted to learn how to make Pilau and last August, while I was in Arusha-Tanzania, I took a class and learnt to make it. 

To begin with:

Heat up some oil in a pan with sliced onions. Cook, stirring often till the onions turn golden. Add garlic towards the end otherwise it’ll burn.


To the oil, add the ground Pilau spice. This act and I daresay art of frying the spices releases both flavour and fragrance


The meat  – beef –  had been cooked prior to making the rice, with salt and ginger. It went into the pot with the stock.


As did a couple of cooking spoons of blended, cooked down tomato mixture


 It was covered with foil and left to simmer till the onions literally melted into the stock.


Coconut milk was added to the stock and then the rice. The rice was basmati, cleaned, fluffed, washed and added to the mix. Gently stirred, covered and left to simmer.


Towards the end of cooking when the rice was almost done, hot coals were piled unto the lid. I’m not sure what the point of this is, but I expect to dry out the top, maybe add smoky flavours.  I remember being intrigued the first time I saw this on my African Food Map.


The result is dry, slightly sticky, creamy and choc-ful of flavour rice. I loveeeeeeeeee it. 


And I, of course came home with different Pilau spice blends to try.

Yum and into the regular rotation! I’m closer to my east meets west rice dream.

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