The Recipe - Burundian Spicy Rice

Burundian Spicy Rice 

As Assumpta Karire from Gitega, Burundi, taught Lindsay Sterling in Portland, Maine, in September of 2015.

"ipilau has everything in it that you need." - Assumpta Karire

Serves 8
Cooking time: 30-45 minutes

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

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 to make really easy spicy rice another day.

Choose a large pot that has a lid. With the lid off, saute onions and peppers in oil for twenty minutes on medium. Add carrots, salt, spices, peas, green beans, and rice. Saute for a couple minutes, stirring, and then add water. Bring to a boil, put lid on, turn heat to low. After ten minutes, seal the pot opening with plastic wrap so no steam can escape, and put lid over that. Rice is ready in about ten more minutes when all the water is absorbed and rice is soft.

In Burundi, pilau is served with a variety of foods like beans, stewed greens, baked chicken with saucy vegetables, and salad.

Copyright Lindsay Sterling 2015