Comoros Pilau Rice (African spicy rice)

  • Preparation Time 15
  • Cooking Time 12-15 Minutes
  • Serves 4

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free

We are all used to the Indian style pilau rice but this one is a little different. It contains a lovely mix of heady Moroccan spices. It is warming spicy rather than blow your head off and can be eaten hot or cold.

I love it with salad and falafels as well as nice and hot

If you want to replace the coconut milk with all stock or use a light coconut milk that is fine.

  • Creamy
  • Warming
  • Filling
  • Delicious

It certainly makes a change from the usual rice dishes. You can leave the vegan meat out completely if you cant and it is still delicious.


  • 1 large white onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 1 small jalapeno chilli deseeded and finely chopped (or more if you like it hotter)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 273 ml of water
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 225g basmati rice
  • 400g beef quorn strips, tvp
  • 1/3 cup roasted cashew nuts (optional)
  • Few chopped ready to eat apricots {optional}

To make it more of a meal add a tin of black or kidney beans rinsed and drained at the end of cooking, just to warm through. I also like some chopped apricots stirred though. Although not traditional they do seem to pair well with the choice of spices.


  1. In a deep lidded saucepan place the oil and put on the heat. Once hot add the onions and stir fry vegan strips with a pinch of salt. Fry gently until the onion has softened and begun to turn a light golden colour and add the green pepper.

2. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Next add the nutmeg, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika, bay leaf, nutmeg and jalapeno. after 2 minutes add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, and the rice.

3. Combine well so the rice is fully coated with the spices, making sure to get everything off the bottom of the pan. Stir in the garam masala, water, and stock cube.

4. Cover with the lid and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes and check that all the water has been absorbed. If it hasn’t then replace the lid for another few minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick if used and sprinkle over the roasted cashews, chopped coriander and fresh chillies. Lovely served with some roti or pitta bread alongside some falafels and yoghurt dip.

If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page I love seeing your versions of the recipes. I would love to hear your comments too.

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