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Chicken Kabuli (Afghani style chicken rice)

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  • 0.5 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1.5 cup rice
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 inch ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 baby chicken, skinless, cut into 8 pieces
  • 0.5 tbsp salt
  • 0.25 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 0.25 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 0.25 tbsp garam masala
  • 0.5 tsp coriander powder
  • 0.5 tsp cumin powder
  • 0.5 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 0.25 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into strips
  • 2 handfuls raisins
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Cooking Time
    15 mins
  • Serving
    Serves 7
  • Skill Level


For a light, fragrant and absolutely delicious rice dish - this is the one! It is so straight forward to make and a wow-zer for whoever tries it! Give it a go to see for yourself.
  1. In a pot, add the vegetable oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook until golden brown and caramelised (can take 10 or so minutes)
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, add your rice and clean it under running water. Add fresh water and leave it aside to soak
  3. Once the onion is caramelised, remove half of it onto a plate and set aside. To the remaining onions in the pot add the minced garlic and ginger, as well as the chicken and salt. Mix well and leave for the chicken to gain colour on both sides
  4. Add the cinnamon, ground cardamom, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and black pepper, and stir for a minute
  5. Add the hot water, mix well, reduce heat to medium/low, cover and allow the chicken to cook through (around 10 mins)
  6. To make the rice, add hot water (enough to submerge the rice) and salt to a pot, allow it to come to a boil over medium heat, drain the rice and add it the boiling water. Allow to cook for around 5 mins or until it is 3/4 of the way done. Then drain and set aside
  7. Meanwhile make the garnish by melting butter in a pan. Add the carrots, raisins and sugar and mix for 5 mins or until it begins to soften. Remove onto foil paper and fold the paper to make it into a parcel
  8. In a deep pot place half the rice as a first layer. Place the chicken with its gravy as another layer. Top with the caramelised onion you had set aside. Add the remaining half of the rice. Place your foil parcel on top. Cover, and leave on very low heat to steam for 15 mins. Remove lid, place a tea towel, cover again and leave for 5 mins with the heat off. 
  9. Spoon the mixture onto a serving dish, then remove the garnish from the parcel and decorate your rice

For next time, I will caramelise sugar in some oil and put that over the top layer of rice - and will update the recipe accordingly. This dish is so straightforward, super fragrant and so so so delicious - my family absolutely loved it! Enjoy :) 


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