"This is Afghanistan's national dish and this version from Kabul Afghanistan has been passed down the generations from my from grandmother and mother."






Skill level

Average: 4.5 (4 votes)


  • 2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 500 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into large bite – size pieces
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp ground black cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground clove
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable stock
  • 500 g basmati rice, soaked overnight in cold water
  • 100 g sultanas
  • 1 large carrot, cut into julienne
  • 100 g toasted slivered almonds
  • 100 g toasted slivered pistachios

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and cook until soft and just coloured. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for a couple of minutes or until fragrant. Add the chicken and stir until the chicken is lightly browned and well coated in the onion mixture.
  2. Add the salt and tomato paste and stir for a couple of minutes to cook out the paste.
  3. Place the spices in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add most of the spice mix to the pan with the chicken and reserve a little for the rice. Add the tomatoes and stock and stir to combine. Cover and cook over low – medium heat for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, drain the soaked rice well. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the rice and simmer for 8 minutes or until almost soft. You only want the rice to be par cooked at this stage. Drain.
  5. Place the rice in a heavy-based saucepan. Remove the chicken pieces from the sauce and place around the outside of the rice. Sprinkle the reserved spices over the top. Wrap the lid in foil to create an airtight seal. Place over medium high heat and cook for 5 minutes or until you hear the sound of the rice cracking. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and stand, covered for another 10 minutes.
  6. While the rice is standing, heat the remaining ghee in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the carrot and cook until just starting to soften. Add the sultanas, season to taste and remove from the heat.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pan, then stir the rice to combine the spices and juices. Place the rice on a large serving platter, the top with the chicken, sultanas, carrot and nuts and serve.


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