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Life Style
Cucina Etnica Riso Pilaf

Travel without moving: to Kenya, its ethnic cookery and rice pilaf

Rice Pilaf (or Pilau) is a typical dish in Kenyan ethnic cooking. It offers a journey among spices and flavours so intense that it may leave you with a delicious sense of Mal d’Afrique, even if you’ve never been there before!

Rice is a key ingredient in African cooking, and has always been the continent’s main source of carbohydrate. In Kenya particularly, rice pilaf is a protagonist in all important festivities and occasions. Great expectations call for great skills: the taste of a dish of Rice Pilaf with stewed meat can establish how good a cook you are considered! The final result must be spicily “piccante”, generously seasoned and with its grains of rice well separated. Variations of this dish include versions with stewed chicken, vegetables or fish.

Intensely flavoured by extensive amounts of ethnically varied mixed masala-type spices, and by the vegetable and beef broth, Rice Pilaf is perfect as a main course: guaranteed to transport the palate on a journey through African spice-land!

How do you make it?

Ingredients for 4 people:

Meat Stew

  • 500 gr minced beef
  • 2 sliced carrots
  • 2 sliced green peppers
  • 4 chopped onions
  • Coriander to taste
  • Powdered curry to taste
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 30 ml seed oil

Rice Pilaf

  • 500 gr rice
  • 200 gr peas
  • 1 tablespoon of pilaf masala spices
  • 3 onions
  • Seed oil to taste
  • Salt



Chop the onions and fry until transparent. Add in this order: the tomatoes and green peppers, then the carrots, black pepper and coriander. Wash the minced meat and sprinkle generously with salt. When the carrots have become softer, add the meat. When this is almost cooked, add the powdered curry and check the salt content.

Wash the rice in cold water and meanwhile start boiling the peas. Chop the onions and fry until transparent. Peel and cut the tomatoes into pieces and add them to the onions. Boil a little of the water used for the rice with the pilaf masala spices, checking the salt content at the end. Add the rest of the water to the fried onions and tomatoes: when this begins to boil, add the peas. Mix the rice with the masala marinade and complete the cooking.
Chakula Cema!

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