Sam Baghsi’s Afghan Qabuli Palow Recipe
“Known as Afghanistan’s national dish, qabuli palow can be prepared in a variety of ways. Each Afghan region has their own unique take on the famous dish,” says Sam Bagshi, founder of Afghan eateries Watani Sheeryakh and WataniBox in Ilford, East London. Here, Bagshi shares his take on the traditional dish: “The recipe below outlines the basic steps. Feel free to add or remove ingredients based on your own preferences.”
Qabuli Palow (serves 3-5)
500g lamb meat, cut into medium-sized chunks
1kg basmati brown rice
2 large white onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
3 carrots, thinly julienned
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp ground cardamom
2 or 3 bay leaves
1½ tbsp salt
- Wash the rice thoroughly, then leave it in a bowl of warm water for at least 3 hours beforehand. You can do this step the night before, too.
- Over a medium heat, fry the onions until golden brown. Then, add the chopped garlic.
- Add the lamb and cook until browned and tender. Season with 1½ tbsp of salt.
- Add boiling water. Leave about two inches of water above the meat. Simmer for 10 minutes before adding the raisins and carrots, then boil for 10 minutes.
- Pour the rice into the boiling water, leaving one inch of water above the rice. Add in all the spices and cook until the rice has soaked up most of the water.
- Wrap the lid with foil before covering the pot. Leave it to steam for 25 to 30 minutes on a low heat.
- Once cooked, mix the rice, meat, raisins and carrots together until beautifully combined. Enjoy!