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HomeWorld Traditional RecipesAfghan Traditional RecipesAuthentic Recipe of Qabuli Polow/Kabuli Polow. Mouthwatering Traditional Afghan Rice with Lamb.

Authentic Recipe of Qabuli Polow/Kabuli Polow. Mouthwatering Traditional Afghan Rice with Lamb.

Qabuli Polow is made with long-grain rice and lamb, garnished with a mixture of carrots, raisins, and nuts. Also considered its national dish.

Things to know about Qabuli Polow/Kabuli Polow Recipe

Qabuli Polow is the national dish of Afghanistan. People think the word comes from Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan but, it comes from the Dari word Qabil meaning ‘capable.’

Pointing out that this dish can be made by only the most capable cook. No wedding feast, party, or celebration is complete without this dish. Its beautiful brown color came from onions. The addition of carrots and raisins makes it a visual treat too. Mildly sweetened carrots and raisins add flavor and texture to this delicious traditional dish.

You can say that Qabuli Polow is the crown of Afghan Cuisine.

Mouthwatering Traditional Afghan Rice with Lamb. Authentic Recipe of Qabuli Polow/Kabuli Polow.

Local Recipe Name with Local Characters: پلوو کابلي
User submitted Recipe
5 from 1 vote

— General Atributes of This Recipe:

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Dish Type Pilaf Recipes
Main Cooking Method Boiled, Boiled (Simmering), Steaming
Occasional Cooking Picnic Recipes, Wedding Recipes


Servings 5 People
Calories / Serving 1405 kcal


  • 3 cups Basmati Rice or long grain rice
  • 800 grams (1.76 lb) Lamb Sliced to about 3-inch (7cm)
  • ½ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 pc Onion Large, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Minced
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp White Sugar – Regular Sugar – Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin Powder
  • tsp Cardamom
  • ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 250 grams (8.82 oz) Raisin
  • 250 grams (8.82 oz) Carrot
  • ½ cup Almond
  • ½ cup Pistachio
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Lamb Broth

  • Take a large frying pan and heat oil in it.
  • Add onion and cook at medium heat until deep brown but not burnt.
  • Then Remove the onion from the pan.
  • Add the lamb, salt, and garlic into the same pan.
  • Cook for 10 minutes while stirring to evenly cook the meat.
  • Add the water. Cook on low heat for about 1½ hours.
  • Keep skimming the surface of froth.
  • Once the meat is tender, remove from the heat.
  • Separate broth into a bowl.
  • Grind brown onion and add it to the broth. This will give a distinct brown color to the rice.

Carrot and Raisin

  • While the lamb is cooking cut carrots into long match sticks.
  • Take a large frying pan, add water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add carrots and cook for 5-7minutes. Or until carrots are tender.
  • Drain water from the pan and add oil.
  • Heat it and add sugar, raisins, almonds, and pistachios.
  • Stir thoroughly and cook for 3 minutes. Then remove from heat.


  • Take a large pot and boil water.
  • Add rice and salt.
  • Cook until rice is soft but a little crunch is left. It will take about 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Then strain the rice with a colander.


  • Add cumin, cardamom, and black pepper to the broth and boil it for a few minutes.
  • Then add rice to the broth.
  • Arrange the beef pieces on top, and sprinkle carrots and nuts mixture.
  • Cover the lid with a kitchen towel.
  • Cook over high heat for 1 minute, then lower the heat to a minimum and cook for 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Serve on a platter with lots of carrots on top.

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:

Religious Cooking Halal Recipes, Kosher Recipes


Calories: 1405kcalCarbohydrates: 148gProtein: 42gFat: 73gSaturated Fat: 21gPolyunsaturated Fat: 19gMonounsaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 2941mgPotassium: 1317mgFiber: 10gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 8416IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 154mgIron: 7mg
Keyword Kabuli Polow Recipe, Qabuli polow Recipe, Traditional Afghan Rice with Lamb, پلوو کابلي
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What to serve with Qabuli Polow?

You can serve it with yogurt sauce or salad.

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Variations of Qabuli Polow

You can use beef instead of lamb.

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