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#EveRecipes: My winning Pilau dish

 Winner of Eve Mother's Day cooking competition Saadiya Nasser (Photo: David Gichuru) 

Meet Saadiya Nasser. She is a home-based chef and cooking instructor who won the first place in Eve and Jacaranda Hotel's Mother's Day challenge. She shares her winning recipe.

  Saadiya Nasser with Jacaranda hotel head chef (Photo: David Gichuru)

Mutton Pilau

Main course

Time: 50 min


What you need:

  • 500gm mutton meat
  • 5 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 5 medium-sized chopped onions
  • 3 tbsps. garlic paste
  • 3 tbsps. ginger paste
  • 2 tbsps. pilau masala
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala, ground
  • 1 tsp green chilli, chopped (optional)
  • 6-7 medium sized potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ kg Basmati rice
  • 1 large diced onion



Begin by pre-boiling the meat. In the meantime, fry the onions until golden brown. Lower the heat and add the spices.

Stir-fry for a couple of seconds but be sure not to burn them. Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry till fragrant on low heat.

At this point add the cooked meat, saving the broth for later. Then add the potatoes. Cook until it’s all nicely browned.

Add the washed rice, taking care not to break up the grains. Water down with boiling water the reserved broth till it is 700ml.

Add some salt into the liquid before pouring it in. Stir and allow the rice to cook. When almost done, lower the heat and cover the pan with aluminum foil while it still has some liquid left. 

Simmer until the pilau is cooked. This should take about 20 minutes. Garnish with some fried onions.

Tip: This dish pairs beautifully with Salsa (kachumbari) and fried chillis, popularly known as pilipili ya kukaanga.

 Pilau is Saadiya's signature dish

If I had to have only four items in my kitchen, they would be...

1.  A light cooking spoon, preferably silicon.

2. A non-stick wok with glass lid

3. A blender

4. A selection of spices and herbs


A quote

Pilau is my signature dish. It is easy to prepare and everyone loves good pilau. I choose either chicken, beef or mutton depending on my guests' preference. If they are vegan, I make the green gram pilau. 

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