Afghan Kabuli Pulao

"Afghan Kabuli Pulao"
photo by RawSpiceBar photo by RawSpiceBar
photo by RawSpiceBar
Ready In:


  • 1 . set 7 cups basmati rice
  • 2 . set 2 large onions, diced
  • 3 . set 3 ounces pistachios
  • 4 . set 3 ounces slivered almonds
  • 5 . set 2 large carrots, scraped and julienned
  • 6 . set 10 ounces raisins
  • 7 . set 1/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 8 . set vegetable oil
  • 9 . set olive oil
  • 10 . set salt and pepper


  • Earlier in the day: Place the rice in a large colander and run cold water over it to rinse it well.
  • Now pour the rice in a large bowl and cover it with cold water to soak for 4 to 5 hours.
  • Pour 1/6 cup of sugar into a large, hot saucepan over medium heat and keep shaking the pan until the sugar caramelizes.
  • Add 1 cup of the reserved lamb stock, the RawSpiceBar’s Afghan Pulao Spices, salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and set aside.
  • Drain the soaked rice. Then, following the cooking directions on the package, boil it until just soft. Drain again and pour the rice over the caramelized sugar mixture and stir until the rice is well coated.
  • Using a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and the remaining sugar and stir for 5 minutes or until caramelized and glossy. Add the raisins and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • With the underside of a large wooden spoon punch holes all over the rice allowing the steam to escape. Drizzle rice with olive oil.
  • Now, top the rice with the carrot mixture and the prepared lamb.
  • Cover with a tea towel and the lid of the pan. Make sure the towel is under the lid so it doesn’t burn. Now turn the heat to high and cook the rice mixture for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep it covered for 10 more minutes.
  • To serve, cover a large platter with a layer of the rice, spoon the lamb over it, and then all the remaining rice. Top with the carrot mixture and finally with the almonds and pistachios. This serves a large family, as is traditional with Afghan communities.

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  1. cm2530
    The very major plus of this recipe: it was delicious! Main problem: it is entirely incomplete without spices. None are listed in the ingredient list, and they are absolutely essential to this dish. The step-by-step directions call for a spice mixture sold by the author of this recipe, but as is nonprofit, it looks like the spice mix was deleted from the ingredient list, but unfortunately not replaced with substitutes. This should be rectified. And - news flash! - you don't need a special spice blend at all, just some standards that a well-stocked spice cabinet would already have on hand (i.e., cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cumin). I didn't notice the spice mix anomaly until halfway through the recipe, when I had to look up other recipes, figure out the spices, and then add them in at appropriate intervals which was totally confusing. Problem #2: I think there's a mistake in the quantity of rice. SEVEN cups of basmati rice?!? That's like 21 cups of cooked rice. Unfortunately on brainless autopilot I actually soaked 7 cups of rice, cooked less than half of it, still had food for more like 15 people, and ended up throwing the rest away because after all what does one do with an entire bin of wet rice? Anyway, this is a good recipe but the spices are imperative and you only need about 1/3 that much rice. Think it through, use your head, and triangulate with other recipes.


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