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Kabuli Pulao

One of the national dishes in Afghanistan, made with steamed aromatic seasoned rice, lamb, sweet carrots and rasins. My kids most favorite rice dish that also happens to be fairly easy to make.

In this recipe I'm going to show you how to make just the rice. You can easily add your choice of meat such as lamb, goat or chicken. I would add about 2 lbs of meat along with 2 cups of water to tenderize and cook the meat through before adding the rice to cook.

Personally, I like to roast lamb legs seperate (click here for the lamb roast recipe) and add them ontop while serving, hence why I'm just showing the rice. :)


  • 3 cups rice

  • 1 large onion (thinly sliced)

  • 1/4 cup oil

  • 1 tbsp garlic/ginger paste

  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1/2 tsp cloves

  • 1 black cardamom

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 3 tsp salt 1/2 tsp red chili powder (optional for heat)


  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 2 sliced or shredded carrots

  • 1/8 cup seedless black raisins

  • Handful cashews

  • Handful pomegranates


  1. Soak 3 cups of rice (I use basmati but any long grain works) in water and set aside.

  2. Thinly slice 1 large onion and fry it in 1/4 c. cooking oil until it browns (you want it very brown, but don't let it burn),

  3. Then add garlic/ginger paste and lemon juice. (This is where you would add the meat and brown it, if you wanted to use meat)

  4. Grind up 1 cinnamon stick, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 black cardamom, 1 tsp black peppercorns, and 1 tsp cumin seeds.

  5. Once ground, add the spice mixture plus add 3 tsp salt (red chili powder also if adding heat).

  6. Add in 6 cups of water. (additional 2 if cooking with meat)

  7. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until all the flavors marry (or until meat tenderizes.)

  8. Once that happens, Measure the liquid remaining in the pot and add more water if needed, to cook your rice. (I add 2 cups water for each one cup rice, so 6 cups total)

  9. Drain soaked rice and add it to the pot, stir, bring to a boil and then simmer until rice is about 80% cooked.

  10. Meanwhile you just fry some shredded carrots in 2 tbsp butter and 1 tsp sugar until they're just short of being tender.

  11. Then remove and set aside while you fry up the raisins (I used black seedless...just a handful) until they are plump.

  12. Set aside and then fry a handful of cashews.

  13. When the rice is 80% done, put the raisins, carrots and cashews over the rice (reserving some for garnish).

  14. Cover the pot, setting heat on low, and steam the rice until done cooking (steaming rice).

  15. Once cooked, mix everything, serve in a dish garnishing with reserved carrots, raisins and cashews along with some pomegranates and chopped parsley.

  16. Serve it along side some garlic mint yogurt (Raita).

Make this for your next dinner party with some delicious lamb shanks and I promise you will have everyone raving for more! I use the same recipe as my Raan Lamb Leg Roast (recipe here) except use 4 to 6 Lamb Shanks instead!

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