June 23, 2016

I have the pleasure to come from a traveling family. Which means that I’m well stocked on weird spices and herbs. And my collection keeps on growing every time someone comes back from a new adventure. My family members have strickt instructions that whenever they get offered some strange new food that tastes delicious to find the cook and bring me the recipe ;)
One of my fathers last adventures took him to Oman. A beautiful country I admittedly know very little about. I think my dad spent halve his time there hunting for a cookbook with recipes on local cuisine. Doesn’t seem to be a popular tourist gift. But by the end he managed to get his hands on a little booklet with english recipe translations.
All excited I flipped through it to pick my first challenge. And a challenge it was. Omani people seem to have large families and no single person households. Most of the recipes start something like that: ‘Heat a large pan over open fire. Combine 17kg sugar with 8kg honey and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. …’ Well… we’ll keep that one for later.
Kabuli was one of the first dishes I did manage to cook. And it was a full success. Great combination of spices! It makes for a quite unfamiliar taste that has you craving for more.


  • 1.5 kg chicken [or lamb]
  • 2 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup (250ml) ghee [or oil]
  • 4 pods cardamom
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 18 whole black pepper corns
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
  • 2 limes [juice + zest]
  • 2 ½ cups (200g) rice
  • 3 cups (750ml) water
  • 1 cup raisins

_ soak rice in warm water for 15-20 minutes
_ finely chop onion and crush garlic
_ fry onion and garlic in ghee [or oil] until golden

_ add meat and fry until browned


_ cover meat with water
_ add whole spices and lime zest


_ simmer for 2 hours [or until meat is tender]
_ remove meat and keep aside [time to debone it if you prefer it that way]

_ add water to liquid to make 4 cups
_ stir in powdered cinnamon, black pepper and salt
_ bring to a boil
_ return meat to the pot and stir in drained rice
_ cover and simmer for a further 25 to 30 minutes
_ fry raisins in a little oil
_ arrange Kabuli on a platter with meat on top
_ sprinkle with fried raisins and drizzle with lime juice

Kabuli is usually served with cooked split pea lentils or boiled potatoes [less traditional].


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