Using white, long grain rice is the key to perfecting Afghanistan's national dish, which is packed with flavour. There are many different recipes for Qabuli Pulao, but we think this is the easiest for first-timers!

Our recipe here uses beef, but lamb is also frequently used in this dish. Watch our friend @SeemaGetsBaked create a lamb version alongside Afghanaid's own Elaaha, on her TikTok channel!

Serves: 6-8 people                                                           Cook time: 2 hours


750g Basmati rice

1kg Beef, cut into 2 inch cubes

3 onions, 2 quartered, 1 diced

3 large carrots, julienned

125g black raisins

1/2 cup almonds

3 tsp sugar

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp garam masala

50g ginger, minced

75g garlic, minced

Salt, to taste


Thoroughly rinse the rice with a colander, before leaving in a bowl covered with water to soak.

Throw 2 quartered onions in a large pan with oil and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until browned. Add the beef, and a generous amount of salt, cooking at a medium-high heat until the beef changes colour. Add the ginger and garlic pastes, as well as 8-10 cups of water.

Once the meat softens, separate the beef from the stock. In a large pot, bring some water to the boil. Add the rice and cook until al dente. Strain and let the rice rest in the strainer. Continue to boil the stock so it reduces and thickens, before adding 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garam masala and 1-2 tsp sugar. Add the diced onion to a pan with oil, along with the boiled beef to fry for 3-5 minutes, sporadically adding the stock to the pan.

In a different pan, add some oil, the julienned carrots and the raisins and almonds, stir frying the mixture for 5 minutes whilst gradually adding in some of the stock mixture.

Take a pot with a wide diameter. After oiling the bottom, layer rice, the meat, the carrot mixture and the rest of the stock in the pan, making sure the flavours are spread throughout the pot. Cover the pot, and leave to simmer on a very low heat for 10-15 minutes to allow all the flavours to mix into the rice. Mix well, and serve!

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