If you’re in Kenya, or probably anywhere around East Africa, you .ist have heard about this term “pilau” It is simply a rice dish, so common with the kenyans and to some extent Africans in general though it’s most common around the East African coast. It is mostly prepared during special occasions and it’s always served in almost all hotels around this region. One good thing with pilau is that it can be also be a nice fish for the vegetarians, that’s if it is cooked without meat. At least we know what pilau is and we need not talk about it that much. However, not all of us know how to prepare pilau. We are about to get a full recipe with easy to follow steps of how to cook pilau with masal.

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Preparing your ingredients

Pilau is very spicy and it needs a lot of care when working with the ingredients. We ought to have them in their correct proportions lest you spoil the delicacy. Now, there are many ingredients for pilau masala but many of them are simple to prepare. However, for masala, we better prepare it ourselves rather than buy it from the market for purposes of accuracy. Let’s see how to prepare masala.

How to prepare masala for pilau


1. Find cinnamon sticks, preferably one per every three cups of rice depending on the amount of rice you want to cook.

2. A tablespoonful of cumin seeds will be enough for 3 cups, more than that might mess up the flavour.

3. 5- 7 cloves are just enough for the three cups of rice if you don’t want your mouth numb.

4. 5 cardamoms to tip the spicy flavour per every 3 cups of rice

5. 5 pepper to close up the spicy brew.


A mixer will do you some good in grinding up the above ingredients or you can consider a motor and pestle too. The result of this will be some finely prepared masala. However, the preparation might be a little difficult. You might consider going for the readily available processed masala from the market.

Other ingredients

1.Basmati rice, favourably 3 cups ( you can use any type of rice)

2. Chopped chicken breast 2 cups

3. Vegetable oil 3 tablespoons

4. Fine onion chops 1/2 a cup

5. Masala, a tablespoonful per cup or the whole amount we prepared above.

6. 1/2 tablespoon of ginger paste

7.1/2 teaspoon of tumeric powder

8.1/4 spoonful of green pepper

9. 3/4 cup of coconut milk

10. 1/2 tablespoon of coriander powder

11. Salt to taste

With all the above, we are all set to begin the cooking process. Here is the procedure of coking pilau


  • Put a pan on fire add the vegetable oil and let it burn for some time in medium heat.
  • Add the chicken breast chops and stir them until they turn golden brown in color.
  • Carefully remove the chicken breast chops. And transfer them into another vessel
  • In the same pan, place all the spices except onions, garlic paste, ginger paste, tumeric and green pepper, cover for some ten seconds.
  • When they tart to crackle, add the onions and green pepper.
  • Let them fry in the oil while you stir until they’re golden brown in color.
  • Add the garlic paste and ginger paste. Stir them until the garlic smell fades away.
  • Add fried chicken and rice to the pan and stir them well.
  • In a different vessel, mix coconut oil and two cups of chicken broth, stir them well.
  • Transfer the coconut mixture into the pan now and stir them well.
  • Let them heat for 20 minutes while covered and in medium heat.
  • Pilau is ready for serving.

Note that this recipe has chicken but you may want to cook your pilau with something else, preferably beef, mutton , Chevron or pork. The procedure is more or less the same but we may need to vary the ingredients alittle and remember for pork, your rice should be half boiled when you start combining the pilau with  the meat and spices.

And the above is the full recipe of how to cook pilau with masala. It’s quite an easy process isn’t it? Now, why don’t you try cooking pilau with masala especially if you have never done this before. This will help so much and you will only need it one. Next time you would have easier time cooking pilau with masala! Good luck with your cooking.

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