Heirlooms of Afghanistan

PC – Who Noms the World

This week we have Afreen Mujtehadi all the way from Australia, sharing her Grandmother’s recipe of Afghani Pulao, which was apparently a family favourite. Afreen who hails from a large family in the city of Hyderabad, holds many fond memories associated with this dish. They would gather together on special occasions mainly to savour this magnificent Afghani creation.

We’re overwhelmed to share Afreen’s Grandmother’s recipe with our lovely readers, for them to stir up a storm in the kitchen! We would love to have your feedback and share pictures if you try out this meaty pulao along with sharing some of your family recipes as well. DM us on our Instagram handle @ceiamagazine or email us on coeditor@ceiamag.com to get featured.

Main Ingredients:

1 kg Mutton or Lamb

3/4 Cup Oil

2 Bay Leaves

2 Cinnamon Sticks

4 Cardamoms

4 Onions(medium)

2 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste

2 Crushed Chicken Cubes

4 Green Chillies

Caraway Seeds

2 tbsp Sugar

Fresh Coriander

Salt to taste

Ingredients for Pulao Masala:

1 tsp Cumin Powder

1 tsp Coriander Powder.

1 tsp Black Pepper Powder

1/2 tsp Chaat Masala

1/2 tsp Garam Masala

1/2tsp Red Chilli Powder

1/4 tsp Green Cardamom Powder

1/4 tsp Cinnamon Powder


Pour 1/4 cup oil in cooker/pot and add 2 bay leaves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 whole cardamoms and sauté for 30 seconds.

Add 4 medium sliced onions and sauté until they turn brown.

Add 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste along with the mutton or lamb shanks.

Then add salt to taste, 2 green chillies, 2 crushed chicken cubes.

Now mix in the prepared pulao masala (keeping 2 teaspoons of masala aside) to the meat gravy and throw in some fresh coriander and water as required.

Cook it until the meat is done, making sure that the consistency shouldn’t be too dry or watery once cooked.


In a pan, melt butter and add sliced carrots, raisins, almonds and keep aside.

In a separate pan add 2 tbsp of oil and 2 tbsp of sugar to caramelise. Add half a cup of water to it and set aside.

Add rice into boiling water with caraway seeds, 2 green chillies and salt.

Rice must be 80% cooked.


Put one layer of rice, add all the meat gravy on top. Then add two tsp of pulao masala that was lept aside and the remaining rice.

Pour over some saffron-infused milk, ghee, some fried carrot and raisins and the sugar water on top.

Cover the pot with foil and cook on high flame for about 4 mins and simmer down for 15 mins. Garnish it more with Carrots, Raisins and almonds just before serving.

Bon Appetit!

(Featured image courtesy: Cook with Manali)

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