As Assumpta Karire from Gitega, Burundi, taught Lindsay Sterling in Portland, Maine. Photos by Lindsay Sterling.
Cooking time: 30-45 minutes
Note: Assumpta said: "ipilau has everything in it that you need." In Burundi, it's often served with beans, stewed greens, baked chicken with saucy vegetables, and salad.
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 green pepper, sliced
- 2 large onions, large dice
- 1/2 cup carrots, cut into 1 1/2 inch segments
- 4 tsp pilau spice mixture (see below)
- large handful green beans
- 1/2 cup peas
- 2 1/2 cups white long-grain rice such as basmati or jasmin
- 4 cups water
Ipilau Spice Mixture:
- 6-16 small, hot dried chilis or 1-3 tsp ground chili powder depending on your spice preference
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon or 5 pieces (1-2 inches long)
- 10 whole green cardamon pods
- 1/2 tsp whole cloves
- 1 tsp whole cumin
- 1 piece whole mace or 1/2 tsp mace powder (optional)
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 whole star anise
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
1. Blend the ipilau spices in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. You'll have about 12 teaspoons total of the spice mixture. You'll only use 4 tsp today, so put the extra in a small jar or ziplock and use it again next time you make ipilau.
2. Choose a large pot that has a lid. With the lid off, saute onions and peppers in oil for twenty minutes on medium.
3. Add carrots, salt, spices, peas, green beans, and rice. Saute for a couple minutes, stirring, and then add water.
4. Bring to a boil, put lid on, turn heat to low. Rice is ready in about 15 minutes when all the water is absorbed and rice is soft.