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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kabuli Pulao

Qabili Palau


  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • 1 Kg Sheep's boneless meat
  • 2 large onions, peeled and quartered
  • ½ c plus 2 tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil, divided
  • 5 tsp. salt
  • 3 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 cup black raisins
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cardamom
  • 12 cups water
Preparation Method 1:
Immerse rice in a bowl of water and drain in a colander. Repeat this step 3 times.

Wash the meat. Set aside.

Chop the onions. Don't puree the onions. You can do this by hand if you prefer.

Choose a sauté pan that is at least a couple inches deep and large enough to fit all the chicken. Pour ½ cup of the oil in the pan and sauté the onions over high heat, stirring quickly, until brown (5-10 minutes). Don't burn them. Add the meat to the pan and sprinkle with 3 tsp. of the salt. Cook the meat over medium-high heat for 20 minutes, turning from time to time so all sides turn golden brown. The onion will start to caramelize and turn into a thick sauce. Continue stirring to keep the meat from burning.

While the meat is cooking, cut the carrots into long matchsticks, about 4 inches long and 1/8-inch thick. Make sure that they are not too thin. In a large frying pan add ¾ cups of water and bring to a boil, add the carrots and cook until tender and a deep orange hue, 5 to 7 minutes. Keep a close eye on this to make sure you do not overcook them. Once the carrots are done, drain any leftover liquid out of the pan. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil, raisins, almonds and sugar to the carrots. Stir quickly over medium-high heat and keep stirring for about 3 minutes. The raisins will look plump; the carrots will take on a nice sweet flavor. Remove from heat and package the carrots into a sealed aluminum foil pouch about the size of a small paperback novel.

Remove the meat pieces from the broth and set aside. Stir the cumin, cardamom and black pepper into the broth. Continue to cook on low for 5 minutes to allow it to thicken.

Meanwhile, measure 12 cups of water and the remaining 2 tsp. of salt into a large Dutch oven or pot with a fitted lid. Bring it to a boil. Add the rice to the water and boil until it is al dente (nearly cooked, though still slightly crunchy). This will take just a few minutes depending on the rice you use. You will have to taste it to check for doneness. Do not overcook it.

Immediately strain the rice through a colander. Put the rice back into its cooking pot and add the broth. Mix well. Arrange meat on top of the rice. Set the aluminum package of carrots on top of the rice. This will keep the carrots warm and deepen the flavors without mixing with the rice yet.

Bake the rice for 15 minutes in 500 degrees then drop the temperature down to 250 degrees. Cook for another 20 minutes. Sprinkle the carrots, raisins, and almonds on the rice. Serve with a simple salad and Yougurt Raita.

Serves 6-8

Preparation Method 2:

Brown 1 medium diced onion in oil. Fry until the onion is fairly dark. Add 1 lb lamb cut into 1"-2" cubes and brown lightly.

Add 2 cups of water, 1 tsp. Salt and 1 to 1 ½ tsp each (cinnamon, ground cumin and ground cardamom) Cover and simmer until meat is tender, about an hour.
Remove meat from the juice and set juice aside. Cut 3 carrots into match stick size pieces. Saute carrots and 1 tsp sugar in about 1/4 cup of oil. Cook until they are lightly browned. Remove from oil Add 1 cup of raisins to the oil and cook until they swell up.

Boil the meat juice and add 2 cups basmati (very long grained) rice, 1 ½ tsp salt and enough boiling water to come 2 inches over the rice. Cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender--but NOT mushy.

Mix the meat, carrots, raisins and rice together. Place in a large oven-proof casserole, cover and bake at 300 degrees for about a half hour--or up to an hour.

To serve--place on platter, making sure the carrots and raisins show on top.

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