Pilau And Tomato Salad: How to Make Beef Pilau

Pilau is a very common and much loved dish. It goes by different names in various countries. In Kenya the meal is commonly served with a tomato salad popularly called Kachumbari.

Kachumbari is a simple salad mostly made up of tomatoes, onions and a little salt. Simply chop all the ingredients into a bowl and mix. You can add a little virgin oil if you wish.

How to Make Beef Pilau

Pilau can either be cooked with meat or without it. Click here to learn how to prepare a meatless pilau dish.

This recipe calls for the inclusion of meat, and you can use beef or lamb.


(Serves 2)

  • 1/4 kg meat
  • 1/4 kg rice
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • Pilau masala or whole pilau spices
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • Small piece of crushed ginger


  1. Wash the rice, drain and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, put in the crushed ginger, garlic and pilau masala (as explained at the bottom) and saute for a minute.
  3. Add the cubes of meat. Stir every five minutes until the meat is browned and half cooked.
  4. In the meantime, bring water to boil, enough to cook the rice.
  5. Once the meat is cooked, after about twenty minutes, add the rice and stir to mix all the ingredients and to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
  6. Let it cook for a few minutes stirring every two minutes.
  7. Pour in the hot water, add salt, stir and bring to a boil again.
  8. Cook until the rice is done and all the water has evaporated.
  9. Serve with tomato salad (kachumbari).

Pilau and tomato salad

If you are using whole spices, you’ll have to put them in a small mortar and pound into smaller pieces. The spices making up the pilau masala include cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamon and fennel seeds/cumin. If you can’t find these spices sold in a satchet, you can buy them separately and then mix them. Ground them in a mortar together with the garlic cloves and ginger to form a paste. This is what you’ll saute at the beginning of the recipe before adding the meat.


How to Serve Pilau

This delicious dish can be served with different types of salads like:

  1. Carrot salad
  2. Tomato salad
  3. Cucumber salad

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