Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Qabuli Palau - Pilau from Afghanistan - Perfect for Shabbat

I got this recipe through a dear friend Mohammad Juwad from Afghanistan.  It is very much like Sefardi Pilau and would be an easy Shabbat evening or Shabbat day meal.  Try it with chicken, lamb or beef. 

Qabuli Palau


1/4 cup olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced
2 lbs lamb
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cardamon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garam masala

NOTE:  The cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, cumin and garam masala are best but if you do not have these spices, 2 tsp of good quality curry powder can be used in an emergency.  When buying garam masala, purchase the best you can afford.  It is delicious.

1 tsp. salt
2 cups water.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 carrots - cut like matchsticks if you are cooking for that night.  Cut larger if cooking for Shabbat day.
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup raisins
1 cup blanched almonds (I use toasted pine nuts)
1 cup un-salted pistachios

2 cups basmati rice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. saffron
1 cup water


In a heavy pot, fry the onions until golden brown. Cut the lamb into bite-size cubes and add to the onions. Add salt and spices. Add water. Mix well, cover and cook until the lamb is done.

Meanwhile cut the carrots into toothpick-size pieces. Fry them on vegetable oil with sugar until tender. Remove from oil. Add raisins to the oil and fry until they swell up. Remove from the oil. Add almonds to the oil and brown. Repeat with the pistachios. Remove and set aside.

Once the lamb is done, remove from the water and set aside. Add rice to the remaining lamb stock. Add salt and water.

If you are making this as cholent/hamim for Shabbat day, stop here and put in an oiled, heavy bottom pan, cover tightly, and cook overnight in a very low oven temperature.  If some rice sticks to the bottom of the pan don't worry - that is the BEST PART!

Boil until the rice is done, about 20 minutes.

To cook the rice, boil the meat juice and add 2 cups long grain rice, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and sufficient water to bring the liquid 2 inches above the rice. Add the oil in which the carrots were cooked and 1/8 tsp. saffron (optional) to the cooked rice. Put meat and rice in a large casserole, cover and set in a 300 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.

Serve by placing the lamb on a serving plate, covering it with the rice, and topping it with the carrots, raisins, almonds and pistachios (the toppings are optional depending on your taste)

K (F)
Serve with lemony salads, dips and lots of challah

1 comment: