Qabili Palau is a northern Afghan dish, a variety of pilaf, consisting of steamed rice mixed with raisins, carrots, and lamb. It is one of the most popular dishes in Afghanistan and is considered the Afghan national dish. Qabili is not to be mistaken with the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul.
1 Medium onion diced coarsely
2 C long grain brown rice
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb lamb, beef or chicken cut in cubes or pieces
3 large carrots
1 cup seedless raisins
1-1½ tsp each cinnamon, cumin, cardamom
1/4 tsp saffron (optional)
1 tsp sugar, salt, and pepper
Brown 1 medium diced onion in oil. Fry until the onion is fairly dark.
Add the meat and brown lightly.
Add 2 cups of water, 1 tsp. salt and 1 to 1½ tsp each cinnamon, ground cumin and ground cardamom.
Cover and simmer until meat is tender, about an hour.
Remove meat from the juice and set juice aside.
Bring the meat juice to a boil and add 2 cups rice, 1½ tsp salt and enough boiling water to come 2 inches over the rice. Cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender–but NOT mushy.
While the rice is cooking, cut 3 carrots into match stick size pieces.
Saute carrots and 1 tsp sugar in about 1/4 cup of oil. Cook until they are lightly browned, then remove from oil.
Add 1 cup of raisins (dried cranberries work, too) to the oil and cook until they swell up.
Mix the meat, carrots, raisins and rice together.
Place in a large oven-proof casserole, cover and bake at 300 degrees for about a half hour–or up to an hour.
To serve–place on a platter, making sure the carrots and raisins show on top.