Afghan Pilau

This delicious recipe is known as the crown of Afghan food. There are probably as many variations of this dish as there are villages in Afghanistan! This dish is typically made of pieces of lamb which is centered in a round tray and the pilau (rice) placed around it topped with almonds, raisins, and fried potatoes. It is called differently by people such as Qabili Palaw, Qabeli Palau, or Kabuli pilau.

What You Need:


  • 5 cups long grain basmati rice
  • 1/3 cup  oil
  • 2 lb lamb
  • 3 medium onions (finely chopped)
  • 3 medium carrots (thin sliced or grated) – Optional
  • 1\2 cup seedless raisins
  • 1\2 cup  sliced almonds/nuts
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grounded cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon grounded cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon grounded clove
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt to taste

    Here’s How:

  •  Cook rice with the 2 cups grated carrots.
  • Finely chop the 3 medium onions, then add 5 tbsp of oil in a pressure cooker over high heat and fry onions until lightly golden brown.
  • Add the Lamb  meat in the the pressure cooker.
  • Add all the spices in the meat.
  • Add 1 cup water. Meanwhile taste the flavor of the broth and if needed, add extra salt.
  • Cook until meat is soft and tender.
  • Check out the meat and see if the gravy sauce has to been slightly thickened. (You can add plain yoghurt to this)

    Do This:

  • Strain the rice well using a strainer and rinse with cold water.
  • Place the cooked meat in the center of the tray and arrange the rice around the meat.
  • Spread the carrots, raisins and nuts/almonds over the rice.
  • You can add fried potatoes.
  • Lightly dust ground cinnamon and elachie (cardamon) powder over the rice.
  • Top it with some fresh Dhania.

~ Can be served with plain yoghurt 

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