Kabuli Pulao (Lamb and Rice)
Afghan dishes are rich in calories and perfectly suited to the dry and cold weather of this rugged terrain. Kabuli Pulao is the national dish of Afghanistan and is very popular in south Asia and throughout the Middle East.
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cups basmati rice
3 cups mutton broth (or vegetable broth if preferred)
2 1/2 pounds cubed lamb meat
2 teaspoons whole cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom pods
2″ cinnamon piece
1/4 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
Salt to taste
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kabuli Pulao can be considered the national dish of
Melt the butter in a skillet. Sauté the carrots and raisins until the carrot is soft, then set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the same skillet and fry the onions until translucent.
Add rice and mutton (or vegetable) broth and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is partially cooked.
In a separate pan, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and fry the cumin, cardamom, cinammon, and peppercorns, then add lamb pieces. Add salt to taste and cook for 5-6 minutes.
In a greased baking dish, arrange the lamb pieces in the center and cover with partially cooked rice. Sprinkle the cooked carrots and raisins on top.
Preheat an oven on 250 degrees F. and bake for 20 minutes.
Serve hot in a large flat dish.
Heat Scale: mild
The following recipe and photo appear courtesy of the blog “Morsels and Musings”
Bouranee Baunjan (Eggplant with Yogurt)
The eggplant is browned before being cooked in a spicy tomato and onion sauce, then served with garlicky yogurt. It is simply delicious served with flat bread.
1 large eggplant
Olive oil for frying
2 medium onions, sliced
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (add more for additional heat)
1/4 cup vegetable stock
2 cups plain yogurt
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Chopped fresh coriander and mint, for garnish
Salt to taste
Cut the unpeeled eggplant into 1/2-inch slices and sprinkle liberally with salt. Leave for 30 minutes then pat dry with paper towels. This process allows the salt to draw out some moisture from the eggplant.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan and then fry eggplant until lightly golden on both sides (they do not need to be cooked through—you are just adding color and a bit of flavor). You will need to do this in batches and add more oil as needed. Remove the cooked eggplant slices to a plate covered.
Oil will leach from the cooked eggplant slices, so return this to the pan to reheat and then add the onion. Fry until soft.
Add 3 of the crushed garlic cloves, tomato slices and red chile flakes and cook until the tomatoes break down and a sauce is formed. Add a little stock and seasoning as needed. Remove from pan.
Place a layer of eggplant slices back into the pan. Top with sauce. Repeat until all the eggplant slices are back in the pan. Pour in any remaining oil from the eggplant and onion and add the remaining stock. Cover and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until the eggplant is tender.
Combine the yogurt, salt and remaining garlic clove. Mix well then spread over the base of the serving dish.
Add the eggplant slices, lifting eggplant carefully to keep intact. Top with remaining sauce and onions. Sprinkle with some fresh mint and coriander for color.
Note: The traditional recipe calls for chakah, which is plain yogurt that has been drained overnight. This makes it a little thicker and drier.
Heat scale: medium