Chicken Kabuli Pulao (Afghanistan)

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 40 mins

Afghanistan's national dish. My family likes this version very much. Modified from Kabuli Palau.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place chicken pieces, onions and hot water in a large pot.
  2. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour.
  3. Add salt to taste.
  4. Remove chicken, reserving stock & discard cooked onions.
  5. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  6. Heat 2 tbs of the butter over medium high heat and fry chicken pieces containing bones, salting as needed.
  7. Boil a large amount of water with sea salt and cook the rice in it for exactly 8 minutes. Set aside in a pot until ready to assemble.
  8. Make stock sauce:
  9. Brown onions in butter and remove from heat.
  10. Add cardamom cumin, freshly ground black pepper & saffron liquid and mash with onion to form a paste.
  11. Add about 1/2 pt of the chicken stock; simmer for 5 minutes and taste for seasoning.
  12. Combine cooked rice, stock sauce as needed (I don't find it became a sauce so I added the onion paste with some broth as needed to finish cooking the rice) and chicken; place in a buttered casserole. Cover.
  13. Fry carrot matchsticks in 1/2 tbs butter and add dark raisins to them at the very end.
  14. Sprinkle partially cooked carrot matchsticks and raisins on top of chicken and rice and cover tightly with aluminum foil or cover.
  15. Place in oven for 35 minutes.
  16. Chopped toasted pistachios or slivered almonds may be added over the dish just before serving if so wished.
  17. There most probably will be left over stock that is very good even as a soup on it's own and probably served that way in an Afghani household.
  18. Enjoy!


Most Helpful

I made this for my book club lunch group when we met to discuss "And the Mountain Echoed". It was a hit! Absolutely delicious and so pretty on the table. I used all boneless chicken thighs and it was perfect that way. Also, as in other recipes I've seen for this dish online, I used a pressure cooker to cut the time way down when you cook the onions and chicken at the beginning-15 minutes instead of an hour.

kearnine July 02, 2013

Yummy! My favorite part was the rice! It absorbed all of the flavors and was just delicious. I loved the carrot strips, too. It's a somewhat involved recipe, but worth it. The flavors are well-developed. Thank you!

LifeIsGood May 31, 2013

Delicious! I'm not sure if *I* messed up or if it's normal but after simmering the chicken, when I tried to fry it, it totally fell apart. so I just deboned it & added it to the rice in bits. the kids REALLY loved this. I used the extra chicken stock to make cream of chicken & wild rice soup. ;) I'll definitely make this again!! Thank you! Made for NA/ME Tag.

Elmotoo September 24, 2011

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