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Beef Pilau Served With Kachumbari

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Been to the Coast of Kenya? Then you must know how the locals cherish their most favorite rice dish, ‘pilau’ and they serve it with kachumbari.Good enough, the dish has spread all over the country and everyone loves the popular dish including me.

I mean,

A wedding without pilau isn’t complete!

A graduation without the yummy coastal dish is incomplete!

And a retreat without pilau cannot just happen!

So, when we had our retreat at Paradise Lost, we had the chance of preparing the rice dish for all of us. It couldn’t just miss on the menu! As much as we had a lot of chapattis and peas stew on the menu, pilau was the king!

What’s great about the dish is the aroma! The dish is full of spices thus produces such an aroma that would invite you at the table without any second thoughts.

How to prepare beef pilau and kachumbari

Forget ‘pilau njeri’ , this is how to make the real ‘ beef pilau’ like a local from the coast. The recipe was courtesy of Grace Bako who is an absolute master in the kitchen and good enough, has spent a significant time of her life living at the Coast.

Ride along…


Beef pilau served with kachumbari

Preparation Time: 2 hours.

Servings: For 14 people.



I cup of oil.

5 medium onions, chopped.

5 medium carrots, grated.

10 big, ripe tomatoes, diced.

I bulb of garlic, ground the cloves of garlic to fineness.

3 fruits of green pepper, cubed.

3 tablespoons full of masala.

Freshly ground black pepper.

Freshly ground cardamom.

4 kg of beef, cut into small pieces and cooked before with pawpaw to tenderize it.

3kg (6 cups) Dawaat Basmati rice rinsed and soaked.

12 cups of water (to cook the rice)

A bunch of coriander leaves.

Salt to taste.

Beef pilau served with kachumbari


5 bulbs of big onions, diced.

20 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, circled.

A bunch of coriander leaves.

Salt to taste.

4 lemons to taste.


  1. Heat the oil in a larger cooking pot.
  2. Add the onions and stir until they brown before adding the grounded garlic and ginger.
  3. Put the carrots inside the pot, season with salt then stir to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. After they brown, add the black pepper, cardamom, and ‘pilau’ masala. Cook for a few minutes till they darken up in the pot.
  5. Add the tomatoes, green pepper and coriander leaves. Let them cook to softness.
  6. Add the beef in the pot making sure to let it absorb the juices of the spices and cook for about 4 minutes.
  7. Pour in water to cook the rice inside the pot and let it boil.
  8. Add the rinsed rice in the boiling water and let it simmer uncovered until the rice runs almost dry.
  9. Cover the pot and reduce the temperature to allow the rice to sit for around 10 minutes till it’s ready.
  10. Remove the rice and serve the ‘beef pilau’ immediately with ‘kachumbari’ and drinks.


  • In a large bowl, mix up the onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves.
  • Spice it up with salt to taste and squeeze a little lemon juice over the bowl.


Top the ‘kachumbari ‘over the ‘beef pilau’ on your plate and enjoy!

There you have it! We prepared the recipe at Paradise Lost together with Grace Bako being the chief chef. After which, we ate together as a family over conversations we had and snapshot moments. Good enough, we had a lot of soft drinks, chapattis and peas stew on the menu too as well as fruits and drinking water for a balanced diet.

How awesome!

Beef pilau served with kachumbari

Beef pilau served with kachumbari

*Black pepper makes the beef pilau spicy hot so if you don’t appreciate spicy dishes, please omit that. Otherwise, you can always use a small amount of it or a lot depending on your taste.

Well, do you love the beef pilau?

Or would you be willing to prepare it?

Please share your thoughts with me below…



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    1. Tall says

      Now this was my favorite part; the spicy pilau! Thinking about it is making me salivate. Thanks for sharing the recipe .
      I will try and see if I can replicate it; if not Grace needs to change careers and be a chef so we can hire her.

      • Dalene Ekirapa says

        Haha…I think she should just be our chef. Anyway, really working on the recipe too. I’ll also make sure it comes out as yummy.
        Glad you dropped by!

    2. Stillorphans says

      This looks amazing! I love spicy food and food with a lot of flavor, which you can literally see from the pictures. I going to try making this for my husband!

    3. Becca Wilson says

      This dish looks like it would be so delicious. I would love to give it a try – looks like it is jam packed with some amazing flavors I would really like.

    4. Sayanti says

      I do not eat beef but I would totally go for Chicken Pilau. It is one of my favourite dishes. Also, your pictures are totally amazing. The presentation itself can give someone hunger pangs instantly

      • Dalene Ekirapa says

        Oh Sayanti…thank you gorgeous! And if you don’t take beef, you could always substitute it with chicken pieces in the recipe. It is just as yummy.

    5. Mommy Sigrid says

      We are Filipinos so we are rice eaters. And of course, we really like flavored or fried rice. My husband’s favorites are paella and Mongolian rice. I will try to cook this one for him. 🙂

    6. Andrea says

      I am going to try these recipes! The food looks great! I am always looking for various ways to make rice. Thank you for sharing.

    7. Grace says

      Any rice recipe would be a hit for me. Love this looks really delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    8. Marjie Mare says

      I have tried that dish once but did not know it was so easy to make. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    9. FoodyFoodie says

      It looks like Chinese fried rice, but I bet the taste must be totally different because of the spices. Don’t know the aroma though, sadly, I can’t smell it from the photo.

    10. Aiai Damigo says

      I never been to Kenya and never heard also this food, but after seeing this in here i feel like i want to make some. Thank you for the recipe 🙂

      • Dalene Ekirapa says

        Please do Damigo. You’ll love it. And I hope that you visit Kenya for a vacation someday and have the meal prepared by the gurus. You’ll love it!
        Oh my!

    11. Nicole says

      I have never heard of this before, so I have never tried it but it looks so good! I will definitely have to give this a try and see how it turns out. Thanks for sharing!

    12. Cătălina-Iuliana Nini says

      Nom, nom, nom !! This beef pilau looks so scrumptious. We have a similar dish back in Romania called “pilaf “, the same ingredients except for cardamom and masala. Usually, we add chicken, not beef.

    13. melissa cushing says

      Wow… Pilau looks like a delicious dish! I would absolutely love to try this and will definitely be copying your recipe above. I love trying new dishes and this is perfect!

    14. Kiwi says

      This meal looks delicious. I like it and looks like the seasonings will make this flavorful.


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