17 Oct

How to Cook Kenyan Goat Pilau

kenya pilau goat

When it comes to Kenyan rice recipes, Pilau is among the favorite. Pilau is a common dish especially at the Kenyan Coast, Mombasa. Today, we will be making Kenyan Goat Pilau that has bursting flavors. Kenyan Goat Pilau is a mixture of spices; garlic, ginger, cumin, cardamon, cloves, cinnamon, fried onions, broth and goat meat. The ingredients are cooked with rice in one harmonious pot.

What more can I say? Let me just show you how to make delicious Kenyan Goat Pilau.


½ kg or less Goat meat (it depends with how meaty you want your pilau to be)
1 cup of Rice (Biryani or Basmati rice)
2 onions chopped
2 potatoes peeled and chopped in 4 pieces
½ tsp of Tumeric
Oil to fry
2 tsp garlic paste (½ for rice and ½ for boiling the meat)
1 tsp Chopped Coriander
1 tsp grated onion (for boiling meat)
½ tsp of Ginger
A bit of pepper

Whole spices

1 tbsp whole cumin seeds
½ tsp Whole Pepper
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 cloves
2 cardamom


Step 1: First, clean and wash the goat meat. Pressure cook or boil it with 4 to 5 cups of water, 1 tsp of ginger, 1 tsp garlic paste, pepper and grated onion. If you are using a pressure cooker, the meat should be ready within 25 minutes. If you are using an open pan, it will take almost an hour, so you need to keep adding water to keep the meat totally immersed in water.

Step 2: Once the meat is ready, drain it and set aside. Reserve the soup for cooking the rice. Depending on how many cups of rice you are cooking, the soup should be enough to cook it. If the soup is too much reduce and if there is too little, compensate by adding water.

Step 3: Wash rice thoroughly and soak for 30 minutes.

Step 4: Heat a large cooking pan and heat oil.

Step 5: Add the whole spices; cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, cloves.

kenyan spices

Step 6: Let the spices splutter in the oil (around 30 seconds) and add your chopped onions. Fry them until they are translucent stirring with a wooden stick. If you love darker goat pilau, fry the onions until they are dark and caramelised.

fry onions 1

Step 7: Add the potatoes.

fry potatoes

Step 8: Then add the turmeric powder.

tumeric potatoes

Step 9: Fry this for a few minutes and add the garlic and ginger paste.

put garlic ginger paste

Step 10: Next, we will add a bit of chopped coriander

put coriander

Step 11: Can you smell the sweet aroma? I know, delicious. Add in the boiled meat and stir together for a few minutes.

kenyan goat meat

Step 12: Now, add the soup or stock and some salt. Let the soup simmer and taste for the salt. You should be able to feel the saltiness. Be careful not to put too much.

boil rice

Step 13: When the water starts boiling, drain your soaked rice and add it to the stock. Stir a little and sprinkle a bit of coriander on top.

put rice

Step 14: Cover well and let the rice cook on low medium heat.

boiling kenyan rice

Step 15: When you find very little water left in the rice, reduce the heat to the lowest point. Cover the pan tightly and leave the rice to continue steaming for 10 minutes. Switch off.

cooked kenyan pilau

Serve your Kenyan Goat Pilau with Kachumbari or stew of your choice 🙂



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39 thoughts on “How to Cook Kenyan Goat Pilau

  1. I followed your step by step instructions for the goat pilau and the outcome was very good.
    For the first time i made some yummy pilau.
    Thanks Nelly

  2. Do you take out the whole spices (like the cinnamon sticks) before serving? I am imagining someone eating some rice and suddenly getting a whole cinnamon stick in their mouth! Uck!

    • It depends with you ( you can remove if you want or not). Some people take their Pilau with the whole spices. Those spices are what makes Pilau Pilau 😉

    • For this recipe I would recommend you use cumin seeds. However, you can use pilau masala and see how it turns out 🙂

  3. Hi..instead of using whole spices like cardamon can one substitute thm fr the power form whch we can buy frm supermarket.

  4. from my experience with pilau when you sock the rice it becomes mushy i dont sock mine and i wish you could get fresh spices from the farm directly thats another trick to keep strong aroma but your receipe looks good. i think with pilau its how someone wants it to be there are no rules

    • Hi Joshua. It depends with the rice you are using. Some rice can become mushy while others don’t. Of course, if you can access fresh spices for the farm the better :).

  5. Thanx Nelly tried it tonight fr the very first time in my life and guess what??the results were just amazing…….u doing a wonderful job

  6. Thank you nelly, i moved to the usa and back home pilau was the favourite dish for my kids , we had a nunny we lived with for 16 yrs , and she was a perfect pilau cook, i followed your instructions and my kids love it. This reminds them of kenya . Much appreciated

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