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A Delectable Recipe for Tanzanian Pilau Rice

A Delectable Recipe for Tanzanian Pilau Rice

[[ recipeID=recipe-8ll9tzv9k, title=Tanzanian Pilau Rice ]]

Tanzanian Pilau Rice

Among the many mouthwatering dishes that grace the Tanzanian table, one that stands out for its tantalising aroma and flavourful blend of spices is Pilau Rice. This fragrant and spiced rice dish has its roots in the Indian and Swahili influences on Tanzanian cuisine. Whether served as a standalone meal or as a flavourful accompaniment to other dishes, Pilau Rice is sure to transport you to the vibrant and diverse world of Tanzanian cuisine. 

Karibu chakula! (Welcome to the feast!)

Servings: 4

Keywords: Rice

  • Prep Time: 0 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins




  • 2 cups Basmati Rice
  • 1 Kg Boneless Chicken or beef, cut into pieces (optional for meat lovers)
  • 2 large Onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Whole Cloves
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons Turmeric Powder
  • 4 cups Chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  1. Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot or deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil and ghee over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and whole cloves, stirring until fragrant.
  3. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic to the pot and sauté until they turn golden brown and translucent.
  4. If using meat, add the chicken or beef pieces to the pot and cook until they are browned on all sides. If vegetarian, skip this step.
  5. Now, add the ground cinnamon, cardamom, and turmeric powder to the pot, stirring well to coat the meat or onions with the spices. Let them cook for a minute or two, allowing the flavours to meld together.
  6. Add the soaked and drained rice to the pot, stirring gently to combine it with the spices and meat (if using).
  7. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, ensuring that it covers the rice completely. Season with salt according to your taste.
  8. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed the flavours.
  9. Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork and remove the pot from the heat. Let it rest for a few minutes to allow the flavours to intensify.
  10. Serve the Pilau Rice hot, garnished with freshly chopped cilantro if desired. Accompany it with lemon wedges for a tangy touch.
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