Vegan Comoros Pilaou
This heady, aromatic rice dish of vegan Comoros Pilaou is originally from the Comoros Islands. Traditionally, this dish is made using beef, but it can easily be made vegan.
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This aromatic rice dish is incredibly flavoursome and we recommend serving it with mkatra foutra, a fluffy bread that’s also from the Comoros Islands. It’s great for mopping up the juices leftover from the rice.
What is pilaou?
Like pilau dishes, pilaou is a rice dish which often involves cooking with a stock and flavouring with spices like the garam masala, cinnamon and saffron used in this recipe.
Pilaou typically uses basmati rice, which is a long grain fragrant rice, rather than white rice which has less fibre and is slightly less aromatic.
Tips for cooking Comoros pilaou
If your rice looks too dry after all the stock has been absorbed, simply add a small amount of water, about 100ml or so, and bring it back to a simmer. If the rice is still looking parched, repeat this step until the dish is cooked to perfection.
A great tip for knowing whether your rice is cooked is looking out for ‘crab holes’. These are small holes that emerge on the surface of the rice while it’s cooking. These indicate that the water is circulating well while it cooks, which means the water will be evenly distributed.
Variations on the Comoros Pilaou recipe
Traditionally, this meal uses beef as its main ingredient, but we’ve used store bought vegan beef stir fry strips. If you’re not a fan of store bought meat alternatives, you could use tempeh or tofu ingredient – just cut them up into strips.
You can even use chickpeas for this recipe if you’d prefer not to use meat substitutes. These go perfectly alongside the fragrant flavours of pilaou rice and are a great natural protein source.
Total Time: 40 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 0.25 0.25 tbsp coconut oil
- 100 100 g vegan 'beef' stir fry strips
- 0.25 0.25 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 0.25 0.25 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 0.5 0.5 tbsp tomato purée
- 0.25 0.25 cube vegetable stock
- 0.25 0.25 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 1 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- pinch of saffron
- 0.25 0.25 tsp sea salt flakes
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 56.25 56.25 g basmati rice
- 120 120 ml water
- 0.5 0.5 tsp garam masala
- Heat the coconut oil in a large lidded pan over medium heat.
- Add the onions and stir fry strips with a pinch of salt and gently fry, stirring, until the onions have softened and are beginning to turn a light golden brown.
- Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for a further couple of minutes before adding the nutmeg, salt, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, rice, and tomato purée.
- Stir well so that the rice becomes fully coated in the oil and spices.
- Stir in the water, stock cube, and garam masala before covering the pan with a lid. Turn the heat down to a simmer.
- Leave to cook gently for 10 minutes.
- After the rice has cooked for 10 minutes, remove the lid and check to see if the rice has cooked through and that all the water has been absorbed. If it hasn’t, replace the lid and cook down until all the water has gone.
Each 217g serving provides:
4.6g Fat, 3.1g Saturates, 2.1g Sugars, 2.6g Salt.
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