Afghan Rice Pilaf With Chicken and Yogurt - Bor Pilau

Total Time
2hrs 10mins
Prep 40 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

This recipe comes from Helen Saberi's book - The Afghan Food & Cookery. Pilaf or pilau is a classic Afghan dish. The use of yogurt is also classic and it makes a delicious sauce. Ground red pepper is commonly found in North African & some Asian dishes, if you cannot find it use hot paprika or a mix of regular paprika with a little cayenne added.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Fry the sliced onion in the oil until soft and golden brown. Add the chicken or lamb pieces and fry until golden brown. Add the garlic and fry for a minute or two. Now add the yogurt, salt, red pepper and ground cilantro. Simmer over a medium heat until the meat is tender (about 40 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile wash and soak the rice in plenty of water for about 30 minutes.
  3. Bring 5 cups water to a boil in a large pan and add the rice. Bring back to a boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then strain in a colander.
  4. Take one half of the rice and put in a large pan. Add the chicken and its juices. Add the remaining half of the rice and s sprinkle the saffron and cardamom and a little more red pepper over it.
  5. Cover the pan with a tightly fitting lid and increase the heat for a minute or so to bring back the juices to a boil, then place the pan in a preheated oven at 300°F for about 45 minutes.


Most Helpful

Nice simple rice dish. I didn't bother layering since I was short on time. I just soaked the rice a little first and then threw it all in the pot to cook. I garnished with fresh cilantro and some fried pine nuts.

muslimah April 19, 2009

My favorite, thank you!

Staciaa February 07, 2009

I goofed it up (made the rice first--doh!) and it was STILL fantastic! My family started eating out of the pan before it was even served. Even our guest, a friend of my son's, enjoyed it! The spicing is subtle, the way it is intended, allowing the flavors of the browned chicken and onions to shine through. Will definitely make again, and take photos!

Elielia July 21, 2013

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