Chicken Pilaf/Pilau

The Coastal part of Kenya has food that has lots of flavour. Their meals are made with mixtures of very aromatic spices and very simple ingredients. Many of the dishes are easy to make, some of them like this one being a one pot dish.

This is a delicious dish made from chicken and rice that makes a complete meal, that is always delicious and hearty.

Rice Pilaf – Chicken

Pilaf, also known as ‘Pilau’, is a rice dish, whose recipe usually involves cooking in stock or broth, with herbs and spices, and other ingredients such as vegetables or meat, and employing some technique for achieving cooked grains that do not adhere.

Some of the herbs and spices that make pilau dishes what it is are cloves, cinnamon, cardamons, cloves and cummin. A mixture of these spices is called pilau masala. Two other ingredients that must be included are garlic and ginger.

Chicken Rice Pilaf


  • 1 cup raw rice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium sized chicken breast
  • 2 medium sized potatoes ( peeled and diced)
  • 1 tsp each crushed garlic, ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2  tsp  each Cumin Powder, Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves ( Pilau Masala)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 large onion – diced
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water


  1. Put oil in pan, add onions, saute till onions start to brown.
  2. Add diced tomatoes and salt and continue to fry till tomatoes are tender. 
  3. Slowly introduce the spices – cumin powder, cloves, cinnamon, cardamons, cloves and continue to stir and fry.
  4. Add the chicken stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the potatoes and the rice.
  6. Add water, cover and simmer until all the water is dissolved and rice and potatoes are tender
  7. Serve with kachumbari.

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