AFGHANI PULAO RICE RECIPE:
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- 800 grams mutton, bone-in
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 black cardamom pod
- 8 green cardamom pods
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 5 cloves
- 2 bay leafs
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp salt, or to taste
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 600 grams sella rice
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- oil, to fry the onions
- 2 medium-sized carrots, julienne cut
- 1 big handful of raisins or sultanas
- 1 big handful of nuts, lightly crushed (I used pistachios but any will do)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- oil, for frying
Add all the ingredients for the yakhni to a pot and cover with enough water to submerge all the meat. Bring to a boil and then cover, simmering for 1.5-2hrs, till the meat is tender but not falling off the bone. Keep checking after the 1.5hr mark to get to the right doneness.
- Meanwhile, in a pan heat 3-4tbsp of oil and add your julienne-cut carrots. Saute these on medium heat for 5 minutes, till they are tender and then add the raisins. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, till the raisins, begin to swell up. Finally, add 2tbsp of sugar and the lightly crushed nuts and cook for just a minute. Turn off the heat.
- Take a clean sheet of aluminium foil and place the carrot mixture with all the oil onto it. Fold it around the edges tightly into a parcel shape. Set aside
When the mutton is tender, strain out the liquid stock using a colander and discard the whole spices. Reserve the stock.
- In a heavy-based pot, heat 4-5tbsp of oil and add 3 thinly sliced small onions and 1tbsp cumin seeds. Saute this on medium-high till the onions become lightly brown. The darker the onions become, the darker the rice will be. I prefer my Kabuli Pilau to be a light shade of brown, therefore I sauted my onions this much. You can saute them more if you prefer a darker shade.
- Once the onions are to your desired colour, add the mutton from the stock. Saute for 5-8 minutes.
- Add the rice, stock and top up with water if required. My rule of thumb for Pilau is to have enough water to get to this level (see picture below).
- Cook on high heat till the water begins to boil and then reduces until there is very little water left in the pot. Stir once or twice using a ‘panja’, being careful not to break any rice pieces.
At this point, reduce the heat to the lowest possible, add the foil parcel full of the carrot mix and cover with a lid wrapped with a tea towel. Allow it to steam like this for 10-15 minutes.
To serve, plate the rice on a rice platter, add the chunks of mutton so they are at the top and on full display and scatter with raisins, nuts and carrots from the foil parcel.
Your Kabuli Pilau is ready! Serve with salad and raita!