Kabuli Pulao

We recently had a birthday lunch for my husband Rudy celebrated with Afghani cuisine.

The menu consisted of Kabuli Pulao, Chicken Korma, Mixed Vegetable Korma, Chicken Kababs, Sweet and Sour onion salad.

Appetisers: Beef Mantu and Potato Bolani.

Dessert: Sheer Korma and Cake.

The Kabuli Pulao was a huge hit, especially with the birthday boy 🙂 Sharing with you all this ‘tried and tested’ recipe. Its absolutely sumptuous and delicious!!

Kabuli Pulao

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Print

1 kg. mutton, cut in large cubes
3 cups Sela rice
4 medium onions, sliced
6 carrots, shredded
4 large tomatoes, sliced
6 cloves
6 cardamoms
3” cinnamon
1 tsp black cumin
1 tsp black pepper powder
3 tsp. garam masala powder
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup raisins (or less if required)
A handful almonds and pistas for garnish (optional)
Salt to taste
Ghee or oil, as required


  1. Wash the rice. Add hot water to cover the rice and soak overnight .
  2. Clean and wash mutton and season with one teaspoon salt.
  3. Take a large pot to cook the pulao. Add 2 tbsp. ghee to the pot, heat and then add the shredded carrots, fry stirring often until cooked, then add the raisins and toss till the raisins are fried and swell up. Remove and set aside.
  4. Then add the meat and fry till brown. Remove.
  5. Add more ghee if required, add the onions and fry to a deep golden brown, then add the sliced tomatoes, cover and cook till the tomatoes dissolve and become a paste.
  6. Add the crushed garlic, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black cumin, pepper powder and 1 tsp garam masala, toss lightly. Add salt and the browned meat and sufficient water to cook. May use a cooker if desired.
  7. Cook the meat till tender and done. Remove the meat and set aside. Keep aside one cup of the stock.
  8. To the remaining meat stock add the soaked rice, remaining garam masala powder and bring to a boil. Taste and add salt if required.
  9. Lower flame, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook till the rice is done and the stock is absorbed. Switch off the flame.
  10. Open the lid and sprinkle the reserved one cup stock over the rice, then place the cooked meat over the rice in a single layer, top with the fried carrots and raisins and make holes around the rice with the handle of a wooden spoon to allow steam to escape.
  11. Cover the pot with silver foil or a kitchen towel, place the lid and cook on high for 5 minutes, lower flame and cook 5 minutes more. Switch off the flame and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.
  12. To serve gently move aside the meat and carrot raisins. Place the rice on a platter and top with the meat, then carrots and raisins. Garnish with toasted almonds and pistachios if desired.

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