World Food Challenge

Day One: Afghanistan and its Kabuli Palaw

Good morning, Raffies!

When I was planning my world food challenge, I was considering several ways of organising the flow of dishes. Since I had bought one of those scratchable maps, I would have enjoyed proceeding per continent, but I thought that it would have been easy for me losing track of the countries and dishes. Ultimately, I decided to stick to the easy way and proceed in alphabetical order.

The first country on the menu was Afghanistan. I am fascinated by this country, its culture and cuisine. Among the countless deliciously looking recipes, choosing one was all but easy. In the end, I decided to go for the Kabuli Palaw. Palaw, also known as pilaw, is a fruity rice, usually served with raisins, nuts and saffron. In addition, the rice is cooked with lamb or mutton and served on a big plate in the typical mountain shape. The result was amazing. I had feared for this dish to be quite dry, but not at all. The meat was tender and juicy and the rice was fantastic. For those of you who do not eat meat, there are several vegetarian variations too. Kabuli palaw is often referred to as the national food of Afghanistan. It was definitely a good start into this challenge!
For those of you who want to try to make this dish at home, I have followed this recipe.


250g basmati rice

500g lamb meat

2 cups broth

1 chopped onion

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground cardamom

1 piece of cinnamon

peanut oil




In a frying pan, briefly sauté the carrots and raisins and set aside.

Heat up approximately 2 tablespoons of oil and stir fry the onions. Now add the rice and broth and cook until halfway done.

In another pan, heat more oil and fry the meat. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. Now arrange the lamb pieces in the centre of a baking dish, cover with the rice. Sprinkle with the carrots and raisins. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes at 250°C. Serve piled on a large, flat dish. I added some pine nuts and pistachios, too, because I wanted some extra crunch.

See you tomorrow with the next dish!




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