Brown rice is perfect for pilau since it has a long cooking time like the traditional Coastal dish that we all love. Plus the brown rice has more flavor than white rice so your pilau will have more depth in taste and it will be very filling as well.

Brown rice chicken pilau

I used some left over roast chicken but you can easily use some fresh chicken. In the case of fresh chicken, you want to brown the chicken before starting, just on medium eat with a little olive oil, sear the chicken pieces for about 3 minutes on each side and use in recipe.


  1. Heat a little bit of olive oil and butter on a frying pan on medium heat and then add crushed garlic, crushed ginger, chopped dania/cilantro stalks, finely chopped tomatoes (cherry tomatoes are my favorite), chopped red onions, chopped seeded green chili and some zucchini (courgette).
  2. Gently sweat the mirepoix until a very light brown color then add the ground pilau masala (using ground pilau masala here is better since you will use significantly less spices and get more flavor since more of its surface area is exposed to your food unlike in a whole spice situation).
  3. Toast (making sure it comes to direct contact with the sufuria) for about 2 minutes turning occasionally.
  4. Add some water (twice the amount of rice) and de-glaze the good stuff that sticks on to the pan, we call that the ‘fond’ – The foundation of flavor.
  5. Add your brown rice and season with Natural Himalayan salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and a whole scotch bonnet (make a small incision in the pepper to release flavor and heat – remember to remove this after cooking)
  6. Add Your roast chicken/chicken left over/fried chicken/fresh chicken.
  7. Bring to boil on medium heat and cook for 40 minutes on the sufuria then finish in the oven preheated to 180 degrees Celsius and cook for 30 minutes
  8. When it is done make sure to rest the pilau for at least 30 minutes in the oven to finish cooking with steam, very critical step this one.
  9. Serve with kachumbari