Kabuli pulao

Kabuli pulao Recipe (Afghani Pulao)

Kabuli pulao is a traditional Afghan dish that is popular in Afghanistan and other parts of South Asia. It is a rice dish that is typically made with basmati rice, lamb or beef, raisins, carrots, and a variety of spices.

To make this recipe, the rice is first washed and soaked in water for a few hours to remove excess starch. The meat is then cooked with onions and spices until tender, and the carrots and raisins are added to the pot towards the end of the cooking process.

The rice is then added to the pot, along with additional spices and water or broth. The mixture is brought to a boil, then simmered until the rice is fully cooked and fluffy. The dish is typically served with a side of yogurt and a variety of condiments.

Kabuli pulao is a flavorful and hearty dish that is enjoyed by many people in Afghanistan and around the world.

Ingredients for Kabuli pulao

  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • 1 pound of lamb or beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Instructions for Kabuli pulao

  1. Rinse the rice thoroughly and soak it in cold water for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the chopped onions and cook until golden brown.
  4. Add the meat and cook until browned on all sides.
  5. Add the cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt to the pot and stir well.
  6. Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Allow the meat to cook until tender, about 1-1.5 hours.
  8. Once the meat is tender, add the sliced carrots and raisins to the pot.
  9. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the pot. Stir well to combine all ingredients.
  10. Add additional water if necessary to ensure the rice is fully submerged in liquid.
  11. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil.
  12. Reduce the heat to low and allow the rice to cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  13. Once the rice is fully cooked, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  14. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.
  15. Serve hot with a side of yogurt and your favorite condiments.
  16. Enjoy your delicious kabuli pulao!

Serving suggestions

Serve kabuli pulao with a side of plain yogurt mixed with chopped fresh mint and garlic. You can also serve the pulao with a simple salad of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.

Serve It with a side of sweet and tangy mango chutney or spicy mint chutney. These condiments will add an extra burst of flavor to the dish. it can be served pulao with some fresh naan bread or other flatbread. The bread can be used to scoop up the rice and soak up any extra sauce.

Serve kabuli pulao with a side of cucumber and mint raita. This refreshing yogurt-based dip will help to balance out the heat of the spices and add a creamy texture to the dish.

Tips and Variations

  1. Soak the rice: Soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This will help to remove excess starch and ensure that the rice cooks evenly.
  2. Use the right rice: Use long-grain basmati rice for the best results. This type of rice is fluffy and aromatic, which is perfect for kabuli pulao.
  3. Brown the meat: Make sure to brown the meat well before adding the spices and water. This will help to develop the flavors and ensure that the meat is tender and juicy.
  4. Adjust the spices: Adjust the amount of spices according to your taste. If you like your pulao spicier, add more chili powder or red pepper flakes.
  5. Don’t overcook the rice: Be careful not to overcook the rice, as it can become mushy and lose its texture. Cook the rice until it is tender but still firm to the bite.
  6. Add the raisins and carrots at the right time: Add the raisins and carrots to the pot towards the end of the cooking process. This will prevent them from becoming too soft or mushy.
  7. Use a heavy-bottomed pot: Use a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven to cook the pulao. This will help to distribute the heat evenly and prevent the rice from burning.
  8. Let the pulao rest: Allow the pulao to rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the rice to absorb any excess liquid.
  9. Garnish with fresh herbs: Garnish the pulao with chopped fresh herbs such as cilantro or mint for a burst of flavor and color.


  • Q: How long does it take to cook kabuli pulao?

A: It takes about 2-2.5 hours to cook, including the time it takes to cook the meat and rice.

  • Q: Can I make it vegetarian?

A: Yes, you can make a vegetarian version by omitting the meat and adding more vegetables such as potatoes, peas, and bell peppers.

  • Q: Is kabuli pulao spicy?

A: It can be mildly spicy depending on the number of spices used, but it is not usually considered a spicy dish.

  • Q: Can I make ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can make it ahead of time and reheat it in the oven or microwave before serving.

  • Q: Is this gluten-free?

A: Yes, It is naturally gluten-free as it is made with rice and spices. However, be sure to check the ingredients of any store-bought spice blends used in the recipe.


Calories 330kcal
Fat 12g
Carbohydrates 16g
Protein 17g
Vitamin A

Kabuli pulao


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