Thursday, 20 August 2020

Kabuli Pallau - Qabuli Palao

Kabuli Pallau
Qabully Polau

This rice dish is typical of the region in and around Afghanistan. It is served on its own or a dish of yogurt on the side. Moist and subtle the flavour of this dish is from the bone broth made from your lamb shanks. The richer and deeper the flavour of the broth the bolder the rice. Left over rice can be eaten with a fried fish or kebabs. 

I have often eaten this in London, where one gets the most authentic restaurants from every region of the world. This is a recreation - my version of what we have been enjoying for the past decade. 

A rice and meat dish with lots of subtle flavour.

Serves 6

4 lamb shanks
4 small to medium onions
12 each of cloves, pepper corn, cracked cardamom pods 
1 stick of cinnamon
two pods of garlic - whole
12 cups water
2 cups rice - washed and rinsed 
A simple syrup of 1/2 cup sugar + 1 cup water
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 tbsp candied orange peel
2 carrots, peeled and ribboned or julliened 
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp  cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp salt or to taste
Optional to decorate: a handful of raisin  and almonds You can also add a few dry apricots - khobani to this dish. 

In a pan heat a knob of butter and oil. Brown the lamb shanks all over until completely caramelised. Add the onions and allow it to saute for a couple of minutes. Add the spices and then the water. Bring it to a boil and cover. Lower the heat to a simmer and continue to cook this for 3 hours. Or until the meat is tender. 
Remove and strain the broth. Keep aside.

Wash the rice, at least ten times until the water runs clear. 
Make a syrup with the sugar and water and add to this juice of one lemon, orange peel and the  carrots.

In the larger pot ( now empty)  saute` the tomato paste, cumin, garam masala salt and the cooked lamb. Use a little of the 4 cups of broth to bring it all together.
Place the raw washed riced in the pot. Pour the broth over and on high heat bring it to a boil. Let it cook until the broth has almost evaporated, allowing you to see the rice surface to the top. This will take 10 minutes. Pour the syrup with all the other vegetable and fruit in it. Cover this with a damp parchment - place it all the way down to touch the rice. Cover with a tight lid to avoid the steam from escaping.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow it to cook for another 30 minutes. 

Turn the stove off and let it rest for another ten minutes. Serve sprinkled with raisins and almonds that have been lightly toasted.

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

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