Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan and I had the pleasure of watching a pretty Afghani lady demonstrate the intricacies of this dish in a West London kitchen.
There are 4 stages to this dish, each one equally important, but the completed dish is usually served as the main and only dish, sometimes with a potato or aubergine accompaniment.
Kabuli (Qabli) Afghani PilaoPrint Recipe
- For best results, it is recommended that you utilise special Afghani rice for this recipe, e.g Sela Basmati Lawangi Rice - easily available at all Arabic stores. If not available use Basmati rice.
- For stock (Yukhnee)
- 2lb lamb shins cut into large chunks (approx 5inch sizes)
- 1 medium sized onion sliced
- 10 mugs of water
- 2 tsp salt
- quarter tsp turmeric
- Enough oil to shallow fry (2 cups vegetable oil)
- 1.5lbs carrots cut into long thin strips (Julienne)
- 1 mug of pre-washed raisins, soaked for 30mins then drained
- 1 cup of sliced pistachio and almonds
- 4 tbs of dried orange peel (Optional - readily available from Arabic shops)
- 1 tsp cardamoms seeds
- 1 tsp saffron
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1.5 cups oil
- 2 tbs brown sauce (optional)
- 3 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 7 mugs stock from Step 2
- SWITCH OVEN ON A LOW SETTING
4 mugs Sela Basmati rice - WASH AND SOAK THE RICE OVERNIGHTor
4 mugs Basmati rice - WASH AND SOAK FOR 2 HOURS IN COLD WATER
Add all of the above into a large saucepan.
Bring to the boil, the place on a rolling boil until the meat is soft and cooked right through.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat into a dish, save the stock.
Place half cup of oil in a frying pan, heat to medium, add half the sliced carrots, stir on high heat until softened and remove into a flat plate. Fry the other half of the carrots and remove onto the plate.
Add more oil to the frying pan if required, add the raisins, stir fry and remove into a dish. Empty frying pan of any remaining oil and wipe clean.
Add 6 tbs oil to the frying pan, heat oil then add the nuts, orange peel, cardamoms and saffron and 2 tsps of sugar, once sizzling switch off. Add this mixture to the plate with the carrots.
Put half cup of oil into a large sauce pan, when oil heats up, add the measured amount of stock to the oil, now add the salt.
Bring to the boil, drain the water from the soaked rice and add the rice to the boiling water. Cook on medium heat until almost cooked, drizzle the remainder of the oil (add 2tbs of brown sauce for colour – optional) around the almost cooked rice.
Place a layer of the cooked meat pieces on top of the rice.
Top up with a layer of the fried mixture of carrots, raisins, nuts and spices.
Cover tightly with foil and put in the oven on the lowest heat setting (dhum) for 20mins, or finish cooking on the lowest heat setting on the stove top. Switch off.
To serve - Use a fish slice to remove generous helpings of the cooked rice on a large flat serving platter. Pile up some more pieces of meat and carrot and raisin mixture on top of the rice.