Afghan lamb pilaf (Kabuli pulav)


Nowadays, whenever I get mutton/lamb I blindly think of Afghan, Arab or Pakistani cuisine which goes out perfect with mutton. This is recipe is adapted for TLC – Food Safari Once when I got see this recipe my mouth started watering and decided to handle this recipe in my hands. Finally I got done with this dish and when I opened the lid once it’s fully done, the aroma, colour, texture and taste – no words for this. It was neither sweet nor spicy, but I got to get the taste of sweetness (sugar in the recipe) and mild spiciness (ginger and pepper powder). Totally it was a big hit in my kitchen also among daughter’s friends. So now I could tell that it’s kids favorite and now let us move on to the recipe…

Afghan lamb pilaf (Kabuli pulav)

Afghan lamb pilaf (Kabuli pulav)


  • Oil ( sunflower oil) – 1 tbsp
  • Onion – 2 nos (medium sized)
  • Mutton / Lamb – ½ Kg (with bones)
  • Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Garam masala – 2 ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar – ¼ cup
  • Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
  • Long grain / Basmathi rice – 3 cups
  • Carrots – 2 nos (medium sized)
  • Raisins – 15 nos


  • Peel and chop the onions roughly into cubes. Peel and chop the carrots into lengthwise.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker, cook onions until they turn golden brown for 6-8 mins.
  • Add the lamb pieces and cook them for 3 mins.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste, salt and cook for 5 to 10 mins, till the lamb pieces are browned on all sides.
  • Pour in 5 to 6 cups of water, wait till it boil and then pressure cook for about 4 whistles.
  • Open the lid when the pressure is released and cook in low flame for 30 mins by covering with the lid.
  • Now remove the lamb pieces from the stock and set it aside.
  • Reserve the stock.
  • Place the sugar in a hot, dry saucepan over medium heat. Cook by shaking the pan for 5-6 mins or until the sugar has caramelised.
  • Add in a 3 cups of reserved stock and then sprinkle the salt, garam masala and cardamom powder.
  • Bring it to boil, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, cook the rice and drain the water and keep it aside.
  • Transfer the rice to a heavy bottomed vessel, spread it evenly.
  • Make big holes among the rice by inserting the end of the spoon here and there.
  • Pour in the caramelised stock on to the holes among the rice.
  • Heat a tbsp of oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add carrots and sugar and cook until lightly caramelised and glossy.
  • Add the raisins and cook for a min. Remove from the heat.
  • Heat another tbsp of oil, until smoking and pour it over the rice. Top the rice with carrots and mutton / Lamb pieces.
  • Cover and seal the vessel with the tea towel. Place the lid over that and then a heavy weight object over the lid and cook in high until you hear tickling sound.
  • Now reduce the heat to medium and wait for another 10 mins.
  • Open the lid, remove the lamb and carrots and gently mix them rice.
  • Now top the rice with lamb, carrots and garnish with almonds and pistachios.

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