Tanzanian Rice (Pilau) (Tested)

Serves     4-6


Pilau originates from India. The taste and look of Tanzanian pilau is very different from the Indian version as Tanzanian rice uses more spices than Indian pilau. This has become a favorite Tanzanian rice dish.


2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup basmati rice

¼ cup diced onions

1 tbsp. chopped garlic

1 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger

1 tsp. salt

1 to 1 ½ tbsp. pilau masala (recipe follows)

½ cup coconut milk (or see recipe)

2 to 3 cups chicken broth, simmering


Spice Mixture (Pilau Masala)

Combine these spices:

1 ½ tbsp. ground cumin

1 tbsp. ground cardamom

½ tsp. ground black pepper

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground cloves


In a medium saucepan, heat oil on medium heat, add rice and onions. Stir until the rice loses some of its translucency and starts to turn white.


Add garlic, ginger, salt, and pilau masala. Keep stirring for one more minute.


Add ½ cup of the hot broth and ½ cup of coconut milk. Stir, cover the pot, and turn heat to the lowest settings. Ladle in additional broth ½ cup at a time until the rice is cooked. Check on the rice after 5 minutes to see if more liquid is needed, and check every five minutes thereafter.

A recommended accompaniment to pilau is Kachumbari. The recipe for this simple cabbage salad is in Dining for Women’s recipe archives.

To see photos of how to cook this dish: https://worldcupoffood.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/tanzanian-cuisine-pilau-and-kachumbari/


Notes and Instructions

Recipe and photo credit with permission from Miriam Kinunda: http://tasteoftanzania.com/blog/plain-pilau/

Recipe contribution from Linda McElroy.