Pilawo is a savoury flavorful meat-rice dish. Learn the history and facts; easy pilawo recipe and ingredients; professional kitchen tips and improvisation to make yours at home conveniently.
This article contains the following subheadings:
- Description: What it is, history, and facts.
- The Recipe: Detailed information on preparation and more.
What is Pilawo?
Pilawo, also known as pilau and pilaff, is rice that has been cooked in spices and other ingredients and then allowed to cool and congeal before being served. Pilawo became popular in the Middle East and North Africa during the 19th century, but similar rice dishes existed long before then, originating in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Although there are many variations on the original pilawo recipe to be found throughout the world, all of them have one thing in common: they’re delicious!
Rice pilawo is a fragrant and flavorful one-pot dish made with caramelized beef, rice, and potatoes cooked in a rich and delectable meat or chicken broth.
It is a special rice dish that is frequently served at weddings, during holiday seasons, or when important guests arrive.
This meal's origins can be traced back to Indian and Arab roots, with the preparation leaning more toward the Arab side.
African pilawo is a rice-based dish with beef, chicken, or vegetables in broth and spices.
The brown color of the pilawo is caused by caramelizing the onions and browning the meat until it is thoroughly browned. The pilawo seasoning, also known as pilawo masala, adds color to the rice as well as a distinct flavor.
Pilawo, a simple yet savory dish with a lot of flavor, is an essential part of Kenyan cuisine. Beef pilawo is a great dish to serve on any occasion because of the tenderness of the meat combined with the aromatics of the rice!
Pilawo, also known as pulao or pulav, originated in the Middle East and North Africa as well as Central Asia. The dish itself originally referred to any dish of rice that was cooked in this way, and now it more commonly refers to the flavorful rice dishes of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and other countries throughout the region. While there are plenty of different variations of the dish, there are some key ingredients that you should stock up on if you want to make pilawo at home.
Ingredients needed for Pilawo
- 1 Tsp Cloves
- 2 tbsp Cumin seeds
- 1 Stick cinnamon
- 1/2 Tbsp black peppercorn seeds
- 12 pods Cardamon
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 5 potatoes medium - peeled and cut into quarters
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 Red onions medium - thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons ginger minced
- 1 serrano chile finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon pilawo masala
- 2 beef stock cubes
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- 1 lb beef sirloin cubed
- 3 Roma tomatoes diced
- 4 cups water
- 2 Bay leaves
- Salt to taste
Pilawo Masala ingredients
Rice Pilawo ingredients
How to make Pilawo step by step
Making the Pilawo Masala
- In a dry pan, combine the cumin, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.
- Roast over low heat until warmed through and fragrant, then blend until smooth.
- This recipe only calls for 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons (depending on how fragrant you want the rice to be). You can keep the leftover spice powder in an airtight container for up to 3 months or in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Making tge Rice Pilawo
- Warm up a stockpot over medium-high heat. Heat the oil until it is hot but not smoking.
- Fry the sliced onions for 10-15 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden brown (be careful not to burn it).
- Combine the garlic, ginger, serrano pepper, and Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Combine the cubed beef, pilawo masala, beef stock cubes, bay leaves, cilantro, and salt to taste in a mixing bowl. Cook until the meat browns and caramelizes, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the diced tomatoes have released their liquid.
- Combine the potatoes and water in a mixing bowl. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the rice and, if necessary, cover tightly with foil paper to keep the steam in. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove the foil paper and fluff the rice with a fork to ensure the seasonings are evenly distributed throughout.
- Serve immediately with fresh Kachumbari - salsa. Enjoy!
Recipe Video: How to make Pilawo
Learn how to make pilawo. This is a video on how to prepare your pilawo.
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Pilawo consists of rice cooked with meat, vegetables, or any combination of these. The result is a savory and nutritious meal that can be eaten as an entrée or enjoyed as a side dish at dinner parties or other festive occasions. A vegetarian pilawo can be made using lentils and/or potatoes instead of meat and/or fish, making it perfect for anyone who follows a vegetarian or vegan diet plan.