Spicy Tofu Palau (Afghanistan's National Dish - Vegan Style!)

Total Time
1hr 5mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 35 mins

Qabili Palau is the national dish of Afghanistan! It's also not very vegan. It's usually made with chicken, lamb or both. This isn't very traditional, so substituting some delicious spice marinated tofu - not because it was authentic, but because it is incredibly delicious! This says 4 servings but with 3 cups of uncooked rice, it serves more. From Gormandize.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash the rice well and soak in plenty of cold water for 1 hour.
  2. Combine the spices to make the spice mix.
  3. Slice the tofu into long strips(about the size of french fries). Lay about half of them out in a layer (I do it in a rectangle tupperware container so that I can put the lid on and shake it all up) and sprinkle 1 tsp of the spice mix over it. Lay the remaining tofu on top and sprinkle another teaspoon of the spice mix. Drizzle the 2 tbsp olive oil over the top, put the lid on and shake it all up (you can also just mix it in a bowl and mix it around every now and then). Leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes, preferably 30 minutes.
  4. Place a large non stick pan over a medium heat and add 3 tbsp vegetable oil. Add the onions and the carrots and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the carrots are slightly tender, but not quite cooked yet. Add the brown sugar and the raisins. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for another 2-3 minutes, or until the carrots are just cooked.
  5. Remove the carrots & raisins from the pan and set aside. Add the tofu and all of the spice/oil marinade to the pan. Fry over a medium heat until the tofu is browned on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
  6. Drain the rice and rinse well. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the drained rice to the boiling water. Bring back to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the rice is only just cooked. Drain.
  7. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in the wok and add the remaining palau spice mix. Fry for 1 minute, the spices should become very fragrant, but careful not to burn them.
  8. Add the rice to the pan and stir well so that the spices are mixed through. Add the hot vegetable stock and the carrots and raisins. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and stir through the chopped nuts. Top with the fried tofu and serve.