Gos Pilau (Rice Pilaf with Meat)

Gos Pilau

Gos Pilau is a Khoja classic!  The best Pilau I have eaten is probably at mosque back in Africa. I have no idea what they put it in but it was so awesome. I still applaud the person who made it (have no clue who it was), to make perfectly fluffy Pilau for over 500 people is quite a feat.

Gos Pilau is a rice dish that is mildly scented with garlic, spices and meat stock. I learnt to make this from my sister.

Recipe: Gos Pilau

Also known as: Rice Pilaf with Meat/Beef Pilau

Categories: Rice Dishes; main dish

Accompaniments: Kachumbar (Onion and Tomato Relish)

Servings: 4-5


This recipe is a two-step process, the meat is cooked separately and is then added to the rice to complete the dish.

For the meat:

  • 1 pound beef or goat meat cubes (in-bone is ok)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil

For the rice:

  • 2 cups of basmati rice (wash and then soaked for 30 minutes and then rinsed 2-3 times till water runs clear)
  • 2 large potatoes (peeled and cut into large chunks)
  • 1 large onion (cut into thin slices)
  • 1 green chili, split (optional)
  • 1 medium fresh tomato (diced)
  • Whole spices:
    • 1-2 large cinnamon stick
    • 10 whole black peppers
    • 2 cardamon pods
    • 1 Tbsp whole cumin seeds (jeera seeds)
    • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin powder (jeeru powder)
  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 5 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp garlic paste
  • Water as needed


For the meat:

  • Wash the beef/goat cubes and cut off any excess fat. Put the meat into a pressure cooker. Add garlic and ginger pastes, oil, salt and pepper. Cover the beef with water and let it come to a rapid boil. Then close the pressure cooker and cook on medium heat till done, about 30-35 minutes.
  • Drain the meat in a colander, saving the stock.

For the rice:

  • In a non-stick pot, heat the oil. Add the whole spices. If using the green chili, add it now. Don’t skimp on the oil, I’ve tried that and the rice becomes all sticky!

Whole spices

  • When fragrant (30 secs usually), add the onions. Cover the pot and cook for a minute to soften the onions slightly.

Spices + Onions

  • Add the garlic paste. Stir and then add the potatoes. Cover pot with lid.

Spices + Onions + Potatoes

  • Cook till potatoes slightly translucent and onions completely soft.

Cook potatoes till slightly translucent

  • Add the tomato, meat and cumin powder. Stir fry the meat and cook the tomato down.
  • Measure the stock from the meat. Add plain water to it if necessary to measure up to 3 cups. Add the stock to the pot.  Add salt and taste the stock. It should be slightly on the more salty side since the rice will absorb the salt.

All the ingredients, apart from the rice, are in the pot

  • Cover and let the contents of the pot come to a boil. Cook until a the potatoes are almost done, not completely or they will get mushy.

Almost done potato

  • Add the rice.

All the ingredients in the pot

  • Stir and cover. Let the rice and stock come to a boil. Gently stir and lower the heat and cover. In a couple of minutes, the rice will puff up. If almost all the water has been absorbed and the rice is not yet done, add an additional 1/4 cup of water. Stir gently and cover. Do check the rice to ensure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.

The rice has puffed up, but is not yet done.

  • When the rice is done, take the pot off the heat and uncover. Fluff the rice with a fork. The rice will be slightly damp but the heat in the pot will dry that out. Let it rest for a bit and the rice will easily separate.

Fresh Pilau before resting

  • At any time, be gentle in stirring the rice. Try not to damage the rice grains.
  • Tastes great with a dollop of plain yogurt and some salad.



7 responses to “Gos Pilau (Rice Pilaf with Meat)

  1. Pingback: Otka (Spicy Beef Cubes) « The 'Khoji' Cook·

  2. Pingback: Sambharo (Cooked Carrot, Mango and Chili Relish) « The 'Khoji' Cook·

    • Yes, marinate the chicken in a bit of garlic, ginger, oil, pepper, salt.

      Add the chicken in raw in the step where it asks to add the meat.

      Ensure the chicken is cooked in the water before adding rice. You probably need some more water…

  3. Pingback: zanzibar pilau | perpetual picnic·

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