Afghan cuisine is largely based upon the nation’s chief crops, such as wheat, maize, barley and rice. Accompanying these staples are native fruits and vegetables as well as dairy products such as milk, yogurt doogh and whey. Kabuli palaw is the national dish of Afghanistan. The nation’s culinary specialties reflect its ethnic and geographic diversity. Afghanistan is known for its high-quality pomegranates, grapes, and sweet, rugby-football shaped melons.
Afghan National Dishes
Kabuli palaw or Quabili palaw is a variety of pilaf made in Afghanistan. It consists of steamed rice mixed with raisins, carrots, and lamb. It is one of the most popular dishes in Afghanistan and is the national dish. Quabili Palaw literally means ‘Excellent rice’ in the Persian language and not ‘rice from Kabul’, as some might think.
Kabuli palaw is made by cooking basmati or long grained rice in a brothy sauce (which makes the rice brown). This dish may be made with lamb, chicken, or beef. Kabuli palaw is baked in the oven and may be topped with fried sliced carrots, raisins, orange peel strips, and chopped nuts like pistachios or almonds. The meat is covered by the rice or buried in the rice mixture.
Kabuli palaw is popular in other countries, including Saudi Arabia, where it is also known as Roz Bukhari, meaning “Bukharan rice”; which is a simpler form introduced by Afghan immigrants living in Saudi Arabia.