Afghan Qabeli Palau Recipe

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Qabeli Palau recipe is easy and its considered as the crown of Afghan cuisine. Qabeli Palau can also spelled as Kabuli Palua, Qabilli palaw or palao. Making your homemade Afghan rice requires some time and preparation but it absolutely worth your time. Alright, lets start with the Crown of Afghan food Qabeli Palau recipe.

This Afghan recipe is called the crown of Afghan food and everyone loves it including non-Afghans who have tried it. Qabeli palau can also be spelled as Kabuli Pelau or Qabuli palaw.


  • 2 cups long grain rice( basmati)
  • 10 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp mixed ground masala (cumin, cardamom, clove, cinnamon)
  • 1 1/2- tsp salt
  • 3 oz red seedless raisins
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 tbsp thick chicken broth or 2 cubes Knorr Boullion
  • 2 large onions
  • 1-2 lb lamb shank or chicken leg
  • 2 oz of sliced Almonds and pistachios(Optional)

Cooking Instructions:

1): Wash the Rice very well and soak in cold water for one to two hours in a deep bowl. The more time to soak the better, however, if you do not have much time, soak it in warm water for 30 to 45 minutes for a better result.

2): Peel and finely slice the onions then add it in a pressure cooker or (cooking pot) with 4 tbsp of canola oil and cook until golden brown. Transfer the onion to blender and after blinding leave it aside.

3): In the same pot, add 2 tbsp oil, along with washed and chopped meat whether its lamb or chicken. Cook until all sides of the meat is slightly brown and then add the blinded onion, 1 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground masala, and mix everything well. Stir and cook for 3 more minutes. Pour 1 cup water and taste the flavor for salt, if needed add more salt to it. Let it cook until meat is soft and tender. When is done take it out and leave it a side.

4): Wash both carrots and raisins then slice the carrots in to thin long pieces (5-10 cm), then place a frying pan over medium heat and add 5 tablespoons of oil. Add the sliced carrots in the pan and fry for 4 minutes or until medium soft. Stir the carrots a few times so it doesn't burn.

5): Add 1 tbsp brown sugar, a pinch of cardamom with 2 tbsp water, then cover the top until sugar is melted. (Stir time to time) Add raisins over the carrots and leave for 3 minutes, then remove in a bowl and put aside. (If you use the optional nuts, add it along with the raisins over the carrots)

6): In a large cooking pot or on the same cooking pressure you used above, add 3 cups of boiling water and 1 tsp salt. Drain the soaking rice well and add it to the boiling water and stir. Cook the rice for 5 minutes or until the rice is soft on the outside and still firm, but not brittle, inside.

7): Strain the rice using a strainer and rinse with tepid water. Bring back the rice to pot and add the ½ tsp remaining ground masala (spice), the ½ cup of the meat sauce or broth, 3 tbsp oil over the rice and mix everything from bottom to top gently so you don’t break the rice. When you are done mixing the rice, place the chunks of the meat in the center of the pot while covering it with rice.

8): Use a foiling paper and put all the carrots and raisins then cover and leave it in a corner of the pot inside. (or you can warm up the carrots and raisin later and add it over the rice when serving) Cover the top of the pot and place it inside the oven on 350 degrees for 30 minutes or place over the stove on low heat.

9): Bring out the pot and mix the carrots and raisin with the rice. Do so really gently so you don’t break the grains of the rice. Add some rice in a plate halfway and place the meat in the center of the plate then add more rice to over. Sprinkle the fried carrots and raisin along with the nuts if used and your Qabeli palau recipe is done.


Note: Get everything together for your Afghan Qabeli palau recipe before you start cooking. Get the spices, and everything else and if you don't eat meat, just skip number 3 or use Knorr Bouillon cubes instead of meat to make a broth for the rice. If vegetarian, then forget it all and follow the simple guide to your homemade Qabeli palau recipe.

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