Kabuli Pilaf
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This exotic rice dish from Afghanistan is aromatic, savoury, a tad sweet, hearty, and very satisfying. Impress your dinner guests with this special dish.
Recipe type: Dinner, Main, Rice, Pilaf
Cuisine: Afghani, Afghanistan
Serves: 4
First Step Ingredients:
  • 800 gm or 1 and ¾ lbs. boneless beef, cubed*
  • 1 medium brown onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 tbs olive or vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves or 3 freshly ground cloves
  • fine sea salt to taste, I used around half a tablespoon
  • 1.225 litres or 5 cups water
Second Step Ingredients:
  • 400g or 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 medium carrots cut into match sticks --not too thin
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 100g or 3.5 oz of raisins
  • 50 gm or 1 and ¾ oz of whole almonds, crushed in mortar and pestle or use slivered if desired
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
First Step Instructions:
  1. Heat the oil and once warm, fry the onion until tender and slightly browned. Remove it from the pot and set aside. Add cubed meat to same pot and brown. Next add garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add all the spices and cook for another 2 minutes or until they release their scent. Add onion back to the pot and pour in all of the water. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender. Drain the soft boiled meat and reserve the broth. Set the meat aside.
Second Step Instructions:
  1. Rinse the rice, then place in a large bowl with water and leave to soak. Cut the carrots into matchsticks and have the raisins and almond nearby to use. In a small pan saute the carrots with a bit of oil and a pinch of salt and black pepper, cook until they are soft. Remove from pan and add the raisins. Cook until they plump up or about 2 minutes. Remove the raisins and add the almonds, toast for a couple of minutes and remove from pan.
  2. Drain the rice and set aside. In the same pot you've cooked the meat add the drained rice. Next pour in 2.5 cups or 560 ml of the reserved meat broth. Over high heat bring to a boil, then cover, turn heat to medium low and simmer until nearly all of the broth has been absorbed by the rice and it is soft. If needed, add more of the reserved broth until the rice is cooked through. Next preheat the oven to 200c or 392 f and prepare baking dish large enough to fit the cooked rice. Mix the meat into the rice and half of the cooked carrots and raisins. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake in center of oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and right before serving decorate serving dish with remaining carrots, raisins and almonds.
*Instead of beef you may use lamb or 1 whole chicken cut into 8-10 pieces. Bone-in meat may also be used.
Recipe by Spicie Foodie ™ at https://www.spiciefoodie.com/2014/01/14/earth-eats-a-culinary-tour-of-our-planet-and-kabuli-pilaf/