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Kabuli Pulao

Afghanistan, a land which through my eyes is all about beauty, even when it lies in ruins now. I have come across Afghan people and I have found them to be so humble and polite. They have peculiar mannerism, the soft tone and true to their word attitude that makes them so different. Of course with the current issues there, one can relish only food and enjoy the company of honest Afghans, I had privilege of working with few sometime back. As a foodie, new culture means new food and I had explored few of their dishes. Though their food from the tribal land is not much heard of, mainly because women do not have an access to the outside world - not all but few unfortunate ones

Today it is my pleasure to share a very simple Afghani pulao, very popularly called as Kabuli Pulao. This dish is mainly with meat, but it can be made without meat, hence perfect for people with different dietary requirements

Kabuli pulao is very light and non greasy dish, with minimal or sometimes no spices at all. Black raisins and sugar gives a slight sweet texture, that blend perfectly with the salty yakhni used to cook the rice

Glad to share my version of Kabuli or Afghani Pulao

Kabuli pulao


one kilo boneless meat (you may use beef or lamb or goat)

02 cups basmati rice

02 carrots julienned

01 + 01 large onions sliced

02 medium large tomatoes chopped

6-7 garlic cloves

half cup black raisins

quarter cup almonds, skin off and halved

salt as per taste

half cup oil + 2 tablespoons oil

two black cardamoms

One piece of mace

03 piece of star-anise

one teaspoon garam masala

half teaspoon cardamom powder


* Before you start, wash rice and soak it in water that has been boil. do not cover but leave it to soak for about 2hrs or more

1 - In a heavy bottomed pot, add half of the oil from cup. Once heated add the one sliced onion and sauté until it turns slight brown

2 - Add washed meat pieces, whole garlic cloves and fry until the mutton changes color.

3 - Now add 2liters hot water, salt and give a good stir. let it reach a rolling boiling point for about 10mins

4 - Now turn the flame to medium low and cook for about one hour 45mins or until the meat is cooked and can be easily separated by fingers. If you are using pressure cooker then you need to adjust the timings. Meat needs to be cooked absolutely tender

5 - Once done, remove the mutton pieces and reserve the stock or Yakhni. Yakhni is needed to cook the rice. I had about 3 cups of yakhni and I didn't need any water. Depending on the rice you use, you may need to adjust the water quantity

6 - In a heavy bottom pot, add rest of the oil from the cup and fry raisins, almond and carrots lightly, all separately and keep aside

7 - In the same pot now add the cooked mutton and one tablespoon of garam masala and fry until the pieces get a light brown color. remove in a separate plate

8 - In the same pot, add 2tablespoons oil and once it heats up, add star anise, mace, and cardamom, fry for about a minute, Now add one sliced onion and fry until translucent

9 - Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they are mushy

10 - Add the reserved Yakhi and bring to a boil

11 - Drain off the water from rice and add to the boiling yakhni. add the raisins, almond and carrots, cardamom powder, and gently mix

12 - Add the meat pieces and do not mix (if you are vegetarian, then skip this step. for yakhni you may use vegetable broth)

13 - Cover and cook on medium for about 5-7 minutes. When water is absorbed by rice, then mix gently. cover and cook on low heat until the rice is perfectly cooked. I needed about 8-10 minutes more

14 - Once done, turn off the flame, slightly keep the lid open and let it sit for 20mins before serving with raita

#goodfoodguy #homechef #kabuli #kabulipulao #afghanipulao

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