Saturday, July 02, 2011

Afghan Rice (Kabuli) and Meatballs (Kofta)

When I was growing up in Southern California, my parents had a lot of friends who hailed from the exotic land of Afghanistan. Many a weekend we had dinner parties we invited each other to. I was always excited when we were invited over to theirs, because the food was so delicious. Afghan food is similar to Indian yet has a distinct flavor. Now living in the North East and failing to make any Afghan friends here, I had a sudden craving and decided to make a dish myself. It was a lengthy process (nearly two hours) with many steps. Try to follow the instructions exactly.

I will start with the rice first

4 cups of Basmati Rice (can be found in any Indian store and now regular stores are carrying it as well)
White Sugar (can substitute splenda)
4 julienne carrots (video posted below of this process)
1/2 cup of black raisins
vegetable oil (don't use olive oil, it has a distinct flavor/scent that will take over the taste of the dish)
3 stalks Cinnamon, 6 Cardamom, 1tsp cumin (grind these in grinder or by hand)

black pepper
a video on how to julienne carrots


wash the rice 3 times and drain (leave aside)
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
In a saucepan, heat up 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat
Add the carrots
Add 1 tsp sugar
Cook while stirring for a few minutes
Add the raisins
Cook for 10 more minutes
Take off heat and Set aside
In another saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of oil and 1 tbsp. sugar
Cook until sugar dissolves
Remove pan from heat and cool
Add 1 cup of water
Return pan to heat to boiling, cook for 2-3 minutes
Take off heat and set aside
Heat water in a large pot til boiling
Add the washed rice and boil for 6 minutes
Strain the rice
Obtain a heavy oven safe pot
Add the rice
Add the carrots and raisins mixture
Add the syrup mixture
Add a pinch of saffron and the ground spices
Cover the pot and put on high heat on the stove for 5 minutes
Then place pot into oven and cook for an additional 20 minutes
The rice should be removed at 20 minutes and placed on a wooden slab until oven cools
Once oven is cool place rice back in to stay warm while you work on the kofta

Now for the Kofta

2 lbs. of ground beef
let it strain while you ready the other ingredients
2 medium onions thinly sliced
2 Cloves of garlic thinly sliced
3 Cloves of garlic cut into 2 pieces
2 medium onion chopped roughly into 2 inch cubes
Ground Black pepper
Olive oil
1.5 cans tomato paste

blend the onion and garlic pieces (not the slices) with the black pepper in a food processor finely
Add 2 tsp of salt and the above onion and garlic mixture in the ground beef
In a large non-stick flat pan with high sides, heat about 3/4 cup of oil - heat up at medium high heat
Add the onions - cook until reddish brown (dont burn)
Add the sliced garlic half-way through
While the onions are cooking, mix the tomato paste, 3 cups of water and 2 tsp. of salt together
Add to the onions when they are ready
Cook for five minutes
Take about half a handful of ground beef mixture and toss and roll it in your palms until you get a perfect sphere
Add to the pan

Continue until all the beef is used up
Cover and cook for another 30 minutes

To complete this meal, make a simple salad:
take piece of iceberg letter and slice 2mm thick slices
then cut the other way 2mm until you have chopped pieces
do the same with cucumbers and tomatoes
Mix together
Don't add any dressing or anything on top

here is what your finished product should look like:



Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW I am shocked, impressed and completely in awe. I can't wait to try your recipes out. Btw when are you coming to San Diego, so you can demonstrate your cooking abilities to me live in person. loads of love, Ayesha Baji.

7/03/2011 12:04 AM  
Blogger Z said...

thank you so much for your comment! :) Let me know when you are in town next, and I will feed you for sure :)

7/03/2011 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/04/2013 11:20 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home