How to make beef pilau

Kenyan Pilau Recipe-Pilau is a typical East African dish, especially in Kenya. It is prepared with many available spices, which makes it very colorful, savory, and delicious. I made my pilau with beef, but you can also use chicken if you like.


With its (pilau) taste and aroma, you’ll not miss it on occasions like weddings, dowries, or even Christmas. But you do not have to wait for those special occasions either. Just prepare it at home and enjoy it every day with your family.

This Kenyan pilau is prepared with rice, beef, or chicken and potatoes. Note: The addition of potatoes is optional, but I think they make it even more delicious.

Rice makes it even more inviting because we all love it. Or I could say rice dishes are quick to prepare.

And not only that, it’s good for kids too. We all know kids love rice. And if you’re worried about the spices, I can assure you that this dish isn’t that strong. It’s quite mild, and you’ll enjoy it without sipping water to soothe burning lips.

cumin, pepper, cardamon,paprika,potatoes, onions, ginger, and garlic

How to make Kenyan pilau (with beef)

  • Mix the spices (cardamom, cumin, pepper, and paprika).
  • Fry the onions in some cooking oil until brown. (10-12 mins)
  • Add garlic, ginger, the spice mix, beef cubes, and a pinch of salt.
  • Then add the beef and cook until browned, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir.
  • Add the potatoes, stir and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add water, bring it to a boil.
  • Add rice and stir well. Cover the rice and let it cook until the water drains.
  • And now it’s time to enjoy the deliciousness!

Continue scrolling to check the full pilau recipe below.


Kenyan pilau recipe

Pilau is a typical East African dish, especially in Kenya. It's prepared with many available spices, which makes it very colorful, savory, and delicious.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine African, East african, Kenyan
Servings 2 people


  • 1 tsp cardamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 3 tbsp tomatoe paste
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup rice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (or any other cooking oil)
  • 1 1/2 red onions (sliced)
  • 1 beef cube
  • Salt


  • In a bowl or on a plate, mix the paprika, cardamom, cumin and paper. (Set it aside for later use).
  • Heat a cooking pot over medium heat. Add oil and red onions and cook until they turn brown.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, one beef cube, a pinch of salt and the spice mixture you made in step 1 , stir, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, stir and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the potatoes in cubes and stir. Let them cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add two cups of water, cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  • Add the rice and stir well. Bring the rice to boil over low heat and let it cook until there is no liquid left.


If you don't want to use tomato paste, you can use tomatoes. 
Many prefer basmati rice, which I think is pretty good, but if you don't have it, do not let that stop you from enjoying pilau. Use any kind of rice you have.