Chickpea and Carrot Pulao

afghani pulao

The pictures that I am sharing with you today were taken in the kitchen of my previous apartment, and I have made this pulao numerous times since then. It was a tiny, crowded kitchen but will always remain special because that is where I learned how to cook and bake. That kitchen saw me as a young bride crying over burnt onions and messed-up curries. It witnessed me grow from a mere dishwasher and assistant to my mother-in-law to an independent cook.

The first time I had dinner at a restaurant called Barbecue Delights in Downtown Dubai, their Kabuli Pulao left a very good impression on my taste buds. This dish originates from Kabul, the largest city of Afghanistan. The recipe calls for lamb, saffron, carrots, almonds, and raisins. However, I wanted to make a simpler and vegetarian version of this. And I wanted to omit the raisins. But when people ask, I still tell them I made Kabuli pulao.

spices for kabuli pulao
So we start with a few whole spices, like cumin, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, star anise, and bay leaves.

 

fry whole spices in oil
I did not use the entire star anise, just took ¼ piece of it. Fry the whole spices in oil.

 

chopped onion
Add chopped onions and brown them

 

Add freshly ground ginger and garlic paste
Add freshly ground ginger and garlic paste

 

Add red chili powder and turmeric
Add red chili powder and turmeric

 

Add chopped tomatoes. Cook until soft and mushy.
Add chopped tomatoes. Cook until soft and mushy.

 

Add boiled chickpeas and yoghurt
Add boiled chickpeas and yoghurt

 

Add grated carrots and a couple of green chilies
Add grated carrots and a couple of green chilies

 

Add rice (presoaked for at least 30 minutes) and mint leaves. Fry for a minute or two.
Add rice (presoaked for at least 30 minutes) and mint leaves. Fry for a minute or two.

 

Add water and salt. I add 1.5 cups of water to every 1 cup of rice.
Add water and salt. I add 1.5 cups of water to every 1 cup of rice.

 

Serve warm with cucumber and mint raita
Serve warm with cucumber and mint raita

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chickpea and Carrot Pulao
 
The first time I had dinner at a restaurant called Barbecue Delights in Downtown Dubai, their Kabuli Pulao left a very good impression on my taste buds. This dish originates from Kabul, the largest city of Afghanistan. The authentic pulao calls for lamb, saffron, carrots, almonds, and raisins. My recipe, however, is a simpler and vegetarian version of the Kabuli Pulao. I omitted the raisins because I don't like them in rice dishes, but you can add them if you don't mind the sweetness.
Author:
Recipe type: Rice Dishes
Cuisine: Afghani, Pakistani
Ingredients
  • Basmati rice 2 cups (soaked in water for at least 30 minutes)
  • Chick peas 1 can (or you can soak chick peas overnight and then boil to soften)
  • Carrots 1 medium-sized, grated
  • Onion 1 medium-sized, chopped
  • Tomato 1 medium-sized, chopped
  • Ginger & garlic paste 1 teaspoon
  • Whole spices cumin (1 tsp), cloves (3), cardamom (2), cinnamon stick (2 inches), anise star, bay leaves (1-2)
  • Low fat yoghurt ½ cup (whisk well)
  • Red chili powder ½ teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder a pinch
  • Green chilies 2
  • Mint leaves a few
  • Water 3 cups
  • Salt
  • Oil
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan.
  2. Add all the whole spices and fry them for a minute.
  3. Add the onions and fry until golden.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic paste. Fry until the raw smell is gone.
  5. Add red chili powder and turmeric. Fry for a minute.
  6. Add tomatoes. Cook until soft and mushy.
  7. Add the chickpeas and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Pour in the whisked yoghurt. Stir everything and cook for another minute.
  9. Add the grated carrots and green chilies.
  10. Add the rice and mint. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  11. Add the water and salt. Cover.
  12. When the water starts to boil, remove the lid and stir the rice gently.
  13. Lower the flame, cover the pot partially, and cook until the water evaporates (and you see just tiny bubbles on top of the rice).
  14. Stir the rice gently and cover the pot completely.
  15. Cook for 5 minutes or so. Check for the doneness of the rice.
  16. Remove from heat and let it rest (covered) for 10 minutes.
Notes
I use the same cup to measure the rice and the water. For every cup of rice, I add 1½ cup of water.

While the rice is cooking, I like to cover the pot partially so that I can keep a constant eye on the water level. We don't want the water to completely evaporate while the rice is still undone. And we don't also want to have a soggy pulao by having too much water.

 

 

12 comments

  1. Oh nahiiiiiii! Yeh nahi hosakta Nadia! You posted the recipe card before me! *hanging myself*

    I made ice cream pie and got tired so delayed putting it up. And guess what! I was going to put up a recipe card this time, like urs. Nahiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii tum ne pehle kerlia :'( me dies again. Lol

    Thank you for sharing the recipe. I have a question, Don’t you hate it when you got to photograph each ingredient and every step of the recipe? It kills me. How do you encourage yourself to stay happy during all this.
    Khanum recently posted..Adventure Chronicles: Trip to Fairy Meadows & Nanga Parbat Base Camp — The Beginning

    1. Mere farishtoun ko kiya khabar thi ke you were posting a recipe card? Chalo, jaldi se ice cream pie ki recipe share karo 🙂

      On the contrary, I enjoy taking step-by-step pictures while cooking. Besides, I mostly use my phone to take pictures in the kitchen so it’s not really a big deal. When I search for recipes online, those that have step-by-step pictures grab my attention more, so I thought I’d do the same here on my blog. It will be useful for someone who is very new to cooking.

      1. You see Nadoo,there’s no competition between us, definitely because you are my senior in blogging and way pro than me. But you know 😛 ever since I got my own domain, I have become very serious and decent about blogging. And very competitive 😛 lol isi liye I wanted to give a recipe card this time. And I m hating making it 🙁 its so much work to write exact measurements and directions. Ugh. Things we do for our readers, just too much kindness. haha..
        Khanum recently posted..Adventure Chronicles: Trip to Fairy Meadows & Nanga Parbat Base Camp — The Beginning

        1. Senior, yes .. more pro, no 🙂

          Anyway, your ice cream pie recipe and its presentation totally rock! Henceforth, you shall only post recipes if they come with step-by-step pictures 😀

          PS: I also find writing down the exact measurements so difficult. Main to har cheez andazey se daal deti noun.

          1. Lol The whole time I was doing it,you were at the back of my mind. Cos seeing a recipe card from me is a miracle, as you rightly mentioned once, I suck at writing it down so I was dancing in my head that Nadia would be immensely pleased.
            Thank you for the much love on pie! 🙂
            Khanum recently posted..Oh My, Ice Cream Pie!

  2. This looks easy to cook hmmm, i think I’ll try this recipe, provided I don’t get lazy then. 😛
    Dont you love the aroma of fried onions and spice, I toh love them dil karta hai waise onions khaaloon poorey. 😀
    Miss Maqsood recently posted..Eid Mubarak!

  3. You are heaven sent, Nadia. Thank you for the easy and comprehensive recipe. I have all the ingredients except for the star anise and cardamom.

    My husband too enjoys Barbecue Delights’ Afghani Lamb Pulao. We tried one in JBR and Downtown Dubai and he cleans the plate every time!

    1. You are most welcome, Kero! Barbecue Delights is my family’s favorite restaurant – we’re pretty impressed by both their food and service. Do try this recipe. I hope it turns out well and that you and your family enjoy it.

      Have a great day!

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