Cooking Kenyan Food - Beef Pilau - for International Day

by - November 19, 2017

Last week, there's International Day event at Aurelia's school. This event held every 2 years. At this moment, every students will bring food and dressed up in traditional costume of the country that has been chosen based on their grade. Beside that, they also will do some activities that has a connection with that country as well.

For Aurelia's grade, they got Kenya. Kenya is a country in Africa. So at that day, Aurelia was wearing Kenya traditional costume. She also brought a face painting equipment for the activities. Beside face painting, there are also another activity such as making a mask and making a necklace with beads. Before they're doing the activites, they have dancing performance, and also presentation about Kenya.


About the food, the students being told to bring Kenyan traditional food such as beef pilau, samosa, chapati, mandazi, beef stew, and ugali. Aurelia got beef pilau and samosa. For samosa, it's easy! I just bought the frozen samosa at the grocery store. However, about the beef pilau, it's a "homework" for me. I never heard, never eat, and of course never cook Kenyan food before. So i was googling about beef pilau, and i found out it looks like Briyani rice. I love Briyani rice. Everytime i go to Indian restaurant, Briyani rice is a must ordered dish for me. I love the texture of the rice which use Basmati rice, and it also use a lot of spices which i like the most.

Frozen Samosa by Spring Home
Even though i love Briyani rice, but i never cook it before. So it's really the first experience for me to cook with Basmati rice. I bought the Basmati rice at Lulu Hypermarket, a newly opened hypermaket at BSD City. Lulu Hypermarket is a huge grocery store, based on U.A.E (The United Arab Emirates). So it won't be hard to find Basmati rice at this place.

Note : This recipe is for 7 adult portions.

Ingredients :
- Dried spices (Put them all at the pan, roast it on medium heat to intensify the flavor. Do it until you can smell the spices, about 15 - 20 seconds. After that, blend it until it soft like powder)
4 dried bay leaves
1 tsp cumin
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp blackpepper
1/3 nutmeg

- Other spices
1 large onion, sliced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
6cm ginger, chopped
8cm turmeric, grated

- Rest of ingredients
3 Tbs cooking oil (i use extra light olive oil)
2 large tomatoes (blended to make a puree, no water added)
2 beef cubes
500g Basmati rice
500g beef (cubed, and boiled until the meat is tender)
2,5 cups of beef stock (i used a beef stock from the water that i used to boiled the beef)
Salt to taste
Bunch of coriander leaves

Beef Stock Cubes from Knorr Malaysia

1. Preheat the oil at the pan and put the "powder" dried spices. Cook it for a few seconds.

2. Add onions, cook it for about 5 minutes. And then add other spices such as garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Cook them until fragrant.

3. Put the puree tomatoes and let them cooked until the mixture reduces. At this point, there will be no raw taste of tomatoes anymore.

4. Put the beef at this time, and let it cooked for a while (around 5 minutes)

5. Add the rice and cook it for about 5 minutes to absorb the flavors from the spices.

6. Put the beef stock, and season it with beef sock cubes and salt.

7. Leave it cooked until the rice starts showing at the top, and the beef stocks starts to reduced.

8. With a wooden ladle, lift the rice from the bottom to the top, and vice versa. Do it gently so the rice won't break.

9. Reduced the heat, and wait until the rice cooked perfectly (not too soft) and there's no more stock left.

10. Put them on a plate, and add the coriander leaves on the top.

Cooking beef pilau is not as hard a i thought before. It's easy and it's also taste delicious. In Kenya, the result of cooking pilau be the determinant of whether you're a good cooking. The rice from the good pilau, should be not clumped together. I'm so satisfied with the result of my beef pilau. It's not clumped at all. Why don't you try to make your own pilau, and find out whether you're a good cooking????

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