Beef Pilau Rice is a rich and flavorful one-pot rice dish that is the perfect weeknight dinner. This Classic pilau rice recipe is a hit at parties, BBQs and with adults and kids alike. It comes together easily and is the perfect main for summer parties and get-togethers.
Easy to make in one pot, with all the aspects of a supreme comfort food. This recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and a great source of complete proteins.
This Pilau rice recipe is so easy to follow and will give you the most flavorful rice dish you can ever dream of.
What Is Pilau Rice
This beef pilau rice is a mouth-watering rice dish cooked in broth and seasoned with oriental spices. The spices include cardamom, cinnamon, star anise and cloves just to mention but a few.
Depending on the Pilau recipe, it may contain fish, chicken, vegetables, and even dried fruits like raisins. If you have never heard of pilau rice, come closer…let me show you some but before that, here’s a little background.
The Origin of Pilau Recipe
Pilau rice originates from Persia, but it’s popular in so many other races like the Arabs, Greeks, Turks, Afghans, and Indians. This delicacy has been a staple on the Kenyan tables for a very long time, and we serve it on special occasions and weddings. Pilau is also very porpular in Tanzania, Zanzibar and Uganda.
Traditionally, we use long grain rice to make beef pilau rice or any version of pilau rice. I recommend Jasmin or Basmati rice works perfectly too. You can also go for jasmine rice.
What Goes Into Beef Pilau Rice
For Making Pilau Masala
- Cumin Seeds
- Cardamom pods
- Black peppercorns
- Cinnamon stick
- Star Anise
For Making Pilau Rice
- Basmati Rice
- Beef (washed and cut into bite-size pieces)
- Garlic-Ginger Paste
- Seasoning Cubes OR Seasoning powder
- Pilau masala
- Bay leaves
- Beef broth
- Coriander leaves
- Coriander powder
- Salt to taste
Find a full list of the measurements in the recipe box below.
How to Make Beef Pilau Rice
Making Pilau Masala
STEP 1: Combine the Pilau Masala Spice Mixture and Pan roast for a few seconds on medium heat to intensify the flavors.
STEP 2: Allow the spices to cool completely and grind in a mortar or a spice grinder.
STEP 3: Store in an air-tight container.
Making The Pilau Rice
FIRST: In a large saucepan, heat cooking oil OR ghee on medium heat, add the potatoes and brown lightly. Drain them from the oil and set aside. (THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL)
SECOND: In the same pot, add the onions and fry till golden brown. The browner your onions, the darker the pilau rice will be.
THIRD: To that, add garlic-ginger paste and sauté for a few seconds.
FOURTH: Add the beef and fry till brown for about 10 minutes. Stir regularly.
FIFTH: Proceed to add the chopped tomatoes, salt, Pilau masala, coriander powder, chili powder and seasoning cube and sauté once more.
SIXTH: Cover the pot and allow the tomatoes to cook for about 5 – 6 minutes or until fully cooked. Don’t forget to stir occasionally.
SEVENTH: Now, add 1 cup of water, cover the pot and let the meat simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
EIGHTH: After that, add the potatoes (browned OR not browned), washed rice and hot water OR hot beef broth. Stir to mix all the ingredients. Cover the pot and then steam the rice for about 35 to 40 minutes.
NINETH: After 40 minutes, turn off the heat and allow the rice to rest for about 15 minutes with a covered lid. (This step will ensure that all the moisture is absorbed into the rice).
TENTH: Finally, add the finely chopped coriander leaves and gently fluff the beef pilau rice from bottom to top.
How To Serve Pilau Rice
This beef pilau rice is a meal on its own. It is loaded with beef and filling potatoes.
But you can also enjoy it with a side of Kachumbari OR simply garnish with some coriander leaves for that ambrosial touch and enjoy.
Kachumbari is a colorful Kenyan tomato and onion salad.
Tips For The Best Beef pilau Rice.
FIRST: Now, there are a few secrets to having the perfect beef pilau rice. First of all, you want to make sure that you wash your rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. Rinsing the rice will get rid of the starch in the rice resulting in fluffiest beef pilau rice.
SECOND: Adding the right amount of water is critical. You can follow all the steps above, but if you add a lot of water, you will still end up with soggy rice. Always remember that rice is best steamed in a bit of water and not cooked in a lot of water. For perfect steaming, I seal my pot with aluminum foil during the cooking process and cook on the lowest heat.
THIRD: Moving forward, you might make your own “Pilau masala” since it gives a more fresh touch to the Pilau rice, but it isn’t compulsory. There are excellent store-bought Pilau masala powders that you can use.
FOURTH: Finally, adding tomatoes is optional, but I like adding them because I love the extra moisture they give.
How To Store Beef Pilau Rice
Properly stored in an air-tight container, beef pilau rice will last for 4 days in the refrigerator.
To freeze, transfer to a freezer-suitable air-tight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
To Reheat, transfer beef pilau rice to a microwave-safe plate. Sprinkle few teaspoons of water over the rice and cover with another plate. Warm in the microwave for 5 minutes until piping hot.
PIN IT FOR LATER
If you loved this recipe, you might also like my
- Chicken Jollof Recipe
- Nigerian Jollof Rice
- Vegetable Fried Rice
- Chicken Fried Rice
- Plain Coconut Rice
Beef Pilau Rice
- 1/2 cup ghee ( approx. 120 ml)
- 500 g Basmati rice
- 500 g Beef (washed and cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 medium Onions (diced)
- 1 tsp Garlic-Ginger Paste
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes (diced)
- 2 Seasoning cubes
- 1 tsp Sea salt
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 tbsp Pilau masala
- 5 medium Potatoes (peeled and diced)
- 1 cup Water (for cooking beef)
- 2 cups Beef Broth
- 1 handful Coriander leaves
- 1/2 tsp Chili powder
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
Pilau Masala Spice Mixture
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 6 pods Cardamom
- 1/2 tsp Black peppercorns
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- 6 Cloves
- 2 Star anise
Making Pilau Masala.
- Combine the Pilau Masala Spice Mixture and Pan roast for a few seconds on medium heat to intensify the flavors and then grind in a mortar or a spice grinder. Store in an air-tight container.
Making the Pilau Rice
- In a large saucepan, heat cooking oil OR gheeon medium heat, add the potatoes and brown lightly. Drain them from theoil and set aside. (THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL)
- In the same pot, add the onions and fry till golden brown. The browner your onions, the darker the pilau rice will be.
- To that, add garlic-ginger paste and sauté fora few seconds.
- Add the beef and fry till brown for about 10minutes. Stir regularly.
- Proceed to add the chopped tomatoes, salt, Pilau masala, coriander powder, chili powder, and seasoning cube and sauté once more.
- Cover the pot and allow the tomatoes to cook for about 5 - 6 minutes or until fully cooked. Don't forget to stir occasionally.
- Now, add 1 cup of water, cover the pot and let the meat simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
- After that, add the potatoes (browned OR not browned), washed rice and hot water OR hot beef broth. Stir to mix all the ingredients. Cover the pot and then steam the rice for about 35 to 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes, turn off the heat and allow the rice to rest for about 15 minutes with a covered lid. (This step will ensure that all the moisture is absorbed into the rice).
- Finally, add the finely chopped coriander leaves and gently fluff the beef pilau rice from bottom to top.
If you enjoy this beef pilau rice recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with Star rating. I would love to hear from you.
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30 thoughts on “Beef Pilau Rice (Pilaf Rice / Pulao Rice)”
Wonderful recipe!pppkl I got more than what I was looking for. I will try it out. I needed to know how many people 1kg of rice can serve (with Pilau Rice). I will however need to do fresh analysis to be sure my pilau will still remain profitable when I adopt this recipe.
Can you use jasmine rice instead of basmati rice?
Hi Bridget. Yes, you can use Basmati rice too.
Lovely recipe. Came out perfectly. This is now my “go to” recipe for Pilau.
This was SO good. Everyone liked it which is extremely rare. I added some frozen peas and am looking forward to lunch tomorrow.
I loooove the outcome.. thanks so much
You are welcome, Dee. I am glad you loved it.
I tried this recipe and it came out perfect
Thanks for your feedback, Linet. I am glad it worked out fine. Highly appreciated.
Thanks, Ivy. Glad you like it.
After trying to cook this many years ago I decided to attempt it again and it came out perfect I used balsmati rice and the method was so easy to follow along with, it was delicious will be trying your jollof next thanks so much
Wooow. I’m so glad it worked out for you this time around. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Let me know how jollof rice worked out for you too.
Thanks so much, easy to follow and it came out very nice. Thanks again
Oh, thank you so much May for sharing your experience with us. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
One word….. delicious.
Thanks Peter 🙂
Do you make the beef broth or buy it and what brand please? , also are potatoes boiled beforehand?
Hi Me: No, The potatoes are not boiled beforehand. They are just lightly browned in the oil and cooked together with the rice. Also, I don’t buy beef broth and can therefore not recommend any at this point. I make mine at home, but if you are having trouble with it, you can substitute beef broth with water and just add a bit more seasoning powder than recommended in the recipe. I hope this helps.
Awsome!!! I’m gonna try this recipe…?
Sure do. I’m sure you will love it.
Delicious. I used coconut milk and water and it came out so nicely. I’m keeping this recipe for my future Pilaus.
Hi Miriam, thanks for your feedback. I am glad you like the recipe.
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I love you,I love yo recipes,so easy yet very tasty. The ingredients are too easy to get and skipping pepper (my kids can’t stand it) got me nice results still.Thank u rain
Thanks for the love girl 🙂
I love how one can easily find the ingredients you use for this meals. You don’t have to stress about getting the ingredients..prepared this for my wife’s birthday, and everyone loved it..next time do a biryani for us Jayne
Awwww. I am glad your wife loved it, David. I will try and upload my Biryani recipe soonest.
This looks so good, Jayne! It looks so similar to Jollof though the spices are different. Yay for one-pot rice meals!
Oh yes, it looks so similar but tastes quite different at the same time. You should try it out Precious. Thanks for stopping by.