Qabali - Afghani Rice Recipe -
Qabali - Afghani  Rice Recipe

Qabali - Afghani Rice

Recipe by  

"This recipe is Afghani cooking - its a rice dish that's very popular and very delicious. Serve with a nice meat sauce."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 16 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    1 hr
  • COOK

    40 mins

    1 hr 40 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place rice in a large bowl, rinse, and then soak in cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add carrots and 1 teaspoon sugar; cook, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in raisins, and continue cooking until the raisins are soft and plump. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Strain rice, and then add to boiling water. Cook for about 5 minutes, then strain with a mesh strainer.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup oil and 1 tablespoon sugar. Cook until sugar dissolves completely, making a syrup. Remove from heat , and cool. Once cool, add 1 cup water, and return to a boil.
  5. Return the rice to pan. Stir in carrots and raisins, and then mix in oil and sugar syrup. Season with saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, and cumin. Poke some holes with a spoon all over the rice. Cover, and cook over high heat until you hear crackling noises. Remove from heat.
  6. Bake, covered, in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and toss rice with a fork.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Feb 29, 2004

Marvelous- aromatic-and delicious! Must use basmati rice. A real treat!!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Sep 14, 2009

This recipe has errors in it that cause peoples' rice to become "mushy" or displeasing. It is because of the wrong instructions given. You should never soak or wash the rice in cold water as directed, because cold water will disrupt the cooking process when the rice finally enters the boiling water. You should soak the rice in luke warm to room temp water. And further more, you should NOT boil the rice for 15 minutes, this is called "over-cooking" this is why your rice will come out mushy. You should only boil the water for 5minutes. It depends how long you soaked it, the longer you soak it the shorter time it needs to be boiled. If you soak it for 30minutes you should boil until 10min max. But if soak for more than 30min then please only boil for 5 minutes and then transfer to oven. The recipe given above is wrong and not in conformity with how good Qabuli or even good rice is made, that is why too many people are coming up with "mushy" rice.


10 Ratings

May 25, 2006

The first time I made this recipe I tossed it; the rice was mush, but it had a good flavor. I made it again, cooking the rice for 3 minutes after returning the water to boil. I also skipped making the sugar syrup with oil. I tried that twice and had carmelized sugar in oil both times. Instead after mixing the rice and carrot together with the spices, I sprinkled on the sugar and proceded as written.

Jan 06, 2009

The raisins are a nice touch. The dish smelled delicious, but the flavor was nowhere near as strong as the fragrance for me. I thought the rice was awfully boring and won't be making it again. However, I have found a new friend in golden raisins.

Sep 18, 2009

The boiling time of the rice has been corrected to read 5 minutes.

Apr 20, 2009

Odd. My rice also ended up like mush, and after baking comes out like some sort of rice casserole. The instructions for cooking rice are unique so I think I'll stick to cooking it in the normal fashion next time. I also had a problem with the sugar in oil not dissolving properly. The flavour of the dish is interesting - halfway between savory and sweet. I have no idea if this is authentic or not, but personally didn't do it for me.

Sep 28, 2006

This rice is great! I ate this with some indian soup and it was great! Great flavors all together in one great dish! I added about 1 tsp of salt

Aug 28, 2008

It was great to have a different taste to normal steamed basmati. And an easy recipe to follow. The only change I made was I added the spices first, to let them cook a little followed by the rice and carrots and raisins. Thank you for sharing.


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  • Calories
  • 279 kcal
  • 14%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 44.4 g
  • 14%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 10.1 g
  • 15%
  • Fiber
  • 1.3 g
  • 5%
  • Protein
  • 4 g
  • 8%
  • Sodium
  • 17 mg
  • < 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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