Meatless Monday: Easy Vegetable Pilau.

Pilau is a very common dish in East Africa, and once again like biriani, everyone has their own way of doing it. In Kenya pilau is darker in colour and has meat, but once you move to the coast, it is lighter in colour and has no meat, maybe potatoes but that is it.

Whatever way you make it, it is sure to be delicious. Vegetable pilau is my go to for the kids’ school lunch or a meatless Monday meal. It is an easy one pot meal full of incredible flavour. Let’s get started shall we?

Ingredients: ground pilau masala, ginger garlic paste, chopped onions, whole pilau masala (bayleaf, cumin seeds, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon and cardamom), chopped tomato, rice and my vegetables of choice. I used potatoes, green beans, green pepper, carrot and beetroot. All chopped in small pieces.

Rinse and soak your basmati rice for about 30 minutes. You can use the whole pilau spices as is, or grind them, which I did as we do not like biting into cloves or cardamoms when eating.

Very fragrant freshly ground pilau masala, it has a very strong aroma.
Heat oil in a large saucepan, add a tablespoon of cumin seeds and the bay leaf, cook for a while and add the onion. Let the onion brown a bit but do not let it burn. Remember, the darker the onions cook, the darker the pilau. Then add one tablespoon of ground ginger garlic paste and mix well.
Add your freshly ground pilau masala and mix well, do not let it burn. If using tomatoes, add them at this time and let them cook down completely, then add the store brand already ground pilau masala if you didn’t have the whole one.
Add your vegetables and some salt and pepper. Let the veggies cook a bit, the potatoes can be about halfway done.
Add the drained rice and mix well to let it be coated with the spices.
Add your veggie broth or water and bring to the boil. I use two cups of liquid for one cup of rice.
once the rice starts boiling, cover and reduce the heat to let it simmer slowly until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. I added fried onions, raisins and roasted cashew nuts but it is not a must.

Your vegetable pilau is now ready to serve. You can serve with it a nice kachumbari salad, some raita or even have it on it’s own.

Looks delicious right?

This is an easy meal to make and a great way to use what you have on hand to make a delicious meal for your family. Give it a try!

3 thoughts on “Meatless Monday: Easy Vegetable Pilau.

  1. Pingback: Colourful Beetroot and Pea Pilau. – MY KAMPALA NOTEBOOK

  2. Pingback: Pumpkin and Courgette Rice. – MY KAMPALA NOTEBOOK

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