Recipes from Comoros: Pilaou

Recipes from Comoros


Country: Comoros
Course: Main
Makes: 8 servings


  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 lb beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 small can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 cube maggi
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • 2 cups basmati rice


  1. In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, mash the first six ingredients together with 3 cloves of garlic and 1/8 tsp cloves. Meanwhile, cook the meat lightly in a pot with a small amount of sated water. In another pot, sauté the onions and the rest of the garlic.
  2. Add 1/3rd of the crushed spices to the meat (there should be a little bit of water remaining in the pot, but not much). Add half of the tomato paste and 3/4 tsp garam masala, mixing well. Turn off the heat and cover. Set aside.
  3. Wash and drain the rice (the water should run clear).
  4. In another pot, boil about 2 cups of water and add the Maggi, the rest of the cloves, another 1/3 of the crushed spices and the rest of the tomato paste.
  5. In another pot, melt 1 tbsp of butter. When the butter coats the bottom of the pan, add the rest of the crushed spices, 3/4 tsp garam masala and the rice. When the rice is hot, add the water with the spices in it. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 10 minutes or so, or until about half of the water has been absorbed, then add the meat. Cover and continue to cook.
  6. When the rice is almost done, add the garlic and onions and the cardamom. Stir well and cover. When the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, remove from heat and serve.