Kabuli Pulao
  • 45 Min. Prep 
  • 60 Min. Cook
  • 6 Servings
  • 825 Calories 

Try this a scrumptious chicken and rice pilaf hailing from Afghanistan with sweet/sour flavors, named Kabuli Pulao. This version is pilaf adorned with carrot sticks, raisins, nuts and aromatic spices like cardamom, cumin, cinnamon and cloves. It’s easy to make with Knorr Halal Chicken Flavored Seasoning as a flavorful base for a fragrant and delicious dish to share with friends and family.

  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 2 lbs (1 kg) chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 2 medium white onions, peeled and chopped fine
  • 4 carrots, peeled and shredded (to make 3 cups)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 4 garlic cloves, mashed in a mortar
  • 1/2 cup ghee or clarified salted butter or vegetable oil


  • Spice mix:
  • 1 tbsp. (3 tsp.) ‘Knorr Halal Chicken Flavored Seasoning’
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 cloves (whole)
  • 3 tbsp. raw sugar (can substitute brown sugar or date syrup)
  • 1 dried lemon, poked in two spots with the tip of a knife (loomi)
  • 1/4 cup pistachio slivers or chopped pistachios

In a large soup pot set over medium heat pour 3 tbsp. of ghee (or clarified butter) and stir-fry the onions until they turn brownish, adding one tbsp. of sugar to speed the process if desired.


Add the chicken pieces and sprinkle with ‘Knorr Halal Chicken Flavored Seasoning’. Brown the chicken pieces on both sides over the onions.


Pour the water over the chicken and add the rest of the spices: cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, cloves and the dried lemon. Close the pot and bring to a simmer; let it simmer slowly for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.


Meanwhile, soak the rice in tap water for about 20 minutes.


In a skillet set over medium/low heat, pour the remaining 3 tbsp. of ghee, add the carrots and stir-fry for 15 minutes. Add the raisins after 10 minutes. Add the rest of the sugar. Stir the carrots, cover the pot, and steam over low heat until the carrots get more tender, about 10 more minutes.


Transfer the chicken pieces to a side dish. If desired, use an immersion blender to purée the sauce. Taste to adjust the seasoning.


Bring the sauce to a gentle boil; drain the rice and add it to the sauce. The sauce should cover the rice by about one inch. If not, add more water. Cover the pot and simmer the rice for about 20 minutes until most of the sauce is absorbed and poke marks appear on the rice surface.


Add the chicken pieces and carrot mixture back on top of the rice. Close the lid and steam the pilaf slowly for about 10 minutes over very low heat.


Sprinkle the pistachio nuts on the pilaf to garnish and serve right away.

1. The pilaf is good served with a side of plain yogurt or yogurt drink (ayran).
2. I did not add salt because the Knorr Halal Chicken Flavored Seasoning is already salted to my taste.