The national dish of Afghanistan. There seem to be as many ways to spice this dish as there are cooks. However, lamb is the traditional meat. We chose to make the recipe with chicken thighs. It’s a different flavour profile, but delicious! Try it both ways.
½ c. olive oil
3 lb. lamb, cubed or chicken thighs, whole
10 c. chicken broth
2 medium onions, chopped
5 c. basmati rice
½ tsp. cardamom, ground
2 tsp. cumin, ground
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. raisins (black, golden, or mix)
1 c. carrots, julienned
½ c. slivered almonds, pistachios, or pignoli (optional)
In a skillet over medium high heat, brown meat. Remove and set aside. Add more oil if needed and sauté the onion for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add spices. Return the meat to the pan, add broth and bring to the boil; add rice. Bring to the boil again. Cover, reduce to a slow simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, leave covered 5-10 minutes. Plate on a large, warm platter.
In a separate pan, sauté raisins, carrots, and nuts in oil for 2-3 minutes. Spoon over rice.
Serve with simply dressed greens and warm pita with a dipping sauce like Afghan Red Pepper Chutney (recipe below)
Red Pepper Chutney
Makes about 3 cups
Nigella seeds are traditional with this chutney. You can find them at Middle Eastern markets. if you haven’t got one near you, you can look for black sesame seed. And if you can’t find any of those, toast some white ones as we did today and use those instead.
2 red bell peppers, seeded
3 garlic cloves
1-2 small red chilis or jalapeños, stemmed and seeded
1 tsp. honey
½ tsp. salt
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. nigella or black sesame seeds
Add the bell peppers, garlic, chilis, sugar, salt, and apple cider vinegar into a blender. Blend to a paste. Pour into a dipping bowl, sprinkle with seeds.