Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Afghani Chicken Pulao - Qubuli Uzbaki

Here we have some nice restaurant’s closer to the downtown area. Since it’s pretty far, we would hardly go try any. One day after a zoo visit, we thought we will visit one of the Thai restaurant’s that some of our friends rave about. But we couldn’t figure out where it was (later found out it was just two blocks down), and being very hungry we entered this very traditionally decorated restaurant, which looked like a middle-eastern. It was Sameem, an Afghani restaurant. The food over there was amazing. Very flavorful and but not too heavy. We still thoroughly enjoy our rare visits there, though they have very limited menu.

So why am I talking about this restaurant? Well, today is blog hopping day and I have been assigned Shireen's Ruchik Randhap. When I saw the schedule itself I was nervous, coz of my dilemma. Out of so many beautiful dishes on her blog, I started listing the dishes I would love to try. It became quite big, and was sitting and wondering when my DH came to my rescue. I showed him the list and asked him what he would like to eat. After he narrowing down to biryani/ pulao, I chose her Qubuli Uzbaki - Afghan style Pulao. The outcome was just delicious. It was very light and almost authentic as what we ate at Afghan restaurant. I say almost, coz I did make variation to add more spices. J. So go on, try this one and you won’t regret your choice of meal for the day.

Serves: 5 | Prep Time: 30 min | Cooking Time: 40 min

Basmati Rice – 1 ½ cups
Chicken - 1 KG. (little over 2 LBs) 
Onion - One large - sliced lengthwise
Chili powder - 2 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 2 pinch
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp.
Garam masala - 1 tsp.
Peppercorns - 10
Saffron - 1 pinch
Milk - 1/4 cup
Baby carrots - 15 - Cut julienne (size of a matchstick)
Raisins - handful
Pistachio - handful 
Almonds - handful
Salt to taste
Olive Oil - 4 tbsp
Water – About 3 cups

Method of Preparation:

Prepping -
~ Cut and clean the chicken. Wash thoroughly; set it aside to drain the excess water.
~ Soak saffron strands in milk and set aside.
~ Wash rice thoroughly once. Soak it for 10 min. Drain and set aside.
~ Cut Onions and Carrots and keep aside.

Getting to serious business -
~ In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 2 tbsp. of oil.
~ Add onion and fry them till translucent.
~ Add ginger, garlic and fry until the raw smell goes away.
~ Add Turmeric, Chili and Garam masala powders. Mix them thoroughly and add peppercorns.
~ Add chicken, salt to taste and fry on high for 5 minutes.
~ Reduce the heat to medium, add 1 cup of water, cover the pan and cook till chicken is done. It took me about 10 min.
~ Switch off the heat, take out the chicken and set aside. Reserve the stock.
~ In the same pan, heat remaining oil and fry raisins until plump. Take it out and set aside. Same way fry Pistachios and almonds for few minutes and set aside.
~ Add julienne carrots and fry for 2 minutes and spread them at the bottom of the pot. (Idea is to avoid burning the rice!)
~ Now start layering on top. Put half of the rice, pistachio & almonds, chicken, remaining rice and finally raisins.

Ain't this layer BEAUTIFUL!!!
 ~ Top with saffron milk, chicken stock. You will have to add another 2 cups of water. The level of the water should be just 1/2 inch above the rice layering.
~ Bring water to boil. Reduce the heat to simmer/ low (about 2 or 3 on electric stove), Cover with a foil and close the lid tightly on top, so the steam doesn't escape.
~ Leave it on the heat for about 15 min.
~ Switch off the heat and leave it for another 5 minutes.
~ Once open check if all the water has soaked in, if not, keep it for another 5 minutes. Mine was done properly by this time.
~ Enjoy this delightful dish with a cool raita on the side.


Check out my previous blog hop entries
This is off to Radhika’s blog hop event.


  1. Delicious afghani pulao..never tasted this before,looks tempting!
    Thanx for linking this to my event..
    Ongoing Event- Christmas Delicacy(15Nov-31Dec 2011)

  2. verynice and flavorful

  3. This is so delicious,thanks for sending to the monthly event...
    We have a weekly event too,you can join with.
    Midweek Fiesta @every Wednesday

  4. Hey Sumee! thanks for your comment dear..thanks for trying out the Qubuli Uzbaki, I loved it too & glad u liked it. Just a small thing, I opted out of Blog Hop due to some personal reasons and I guess Radhika has paired you with someone new (Rinku of Kitchen Treats if I am not wrong). Do check with Radhika or the new schedule. Thanks a ton anyways! Appreciate!

  5. Super inviting chicken pulao,looks flavourful and highly addictive..

  6. Pulao looks really good along with the wonderful presentation.

  7. delicious dear...You have made this perfectly..Will surely give it a try..

    Do visit my blog too

  8. this looks deliciuos


  9. Thanks a lot for this recipe. It turned out great.
    restaurant near venkateshwar college


Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to hearing from you of any suggestions and requests. Feel free to email me @ sumeesculinary@gmail.com

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