Everything Pumpkin, Including Pilau!

written by Anthony Mbugua 27th July 2019

This reference is definitely drawn from our July issue which features Everything Pumpkin, a pumpkin-focused pastry shop in Nairobi. We’ve got a pumpkin pilau recipe that will make you rethink your outlook towards pumpkins.

It’s not Halloween (yet), if anything it’s far away, but enjoying pumpkin pilau shouldn’t be seasonal. You have to try this recipe because you will actually love it (and so will your friends and family).


2cups fresh pumpkin (1/2 inch cubes)
1 1⁄2cups sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed. about 1 medium)
Cooking oil
1 Large Red onion – diced
2 Celery Sticks – diced
6 small Kenyan garlic cloves
4 Cups Vegetable Broth
1cup pishori rice
1⁄2teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 stick of Cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
3 crushed cardamom cloves
1⁄4teaspoon salt
 1 bay leaf


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C
  2. Coat pumpkin and sweet potato in oil and arrange in an even layer on a roasting pan.
  3. Bake for half an hour until veggies tender and beginning to brown. Flip vegetables halfway through
  4. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and garlic; saute 3 minutes. Add spices, stir, add rice, stir and then add broth stirring well for 20 seconds.
  5. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes
  6. Add half of the pumpkin and potato mixture and stir in
  7. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until rice is done. Remove from heat and cover with tea towel leaving to steam for another five minutes.
  8. Remove cover, label out food and arrange remaining pumpkin mixture to individual plates.


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