Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, lies just a few hours from the KP Province (North-Western border) of Pakistan. Imagine Silk Road traders bringing over the very first dishes of Kabuli Pulao to eat right here in Western Pakistan.
Pulao can be made with any size grain of rice, which the chef always fries in oil while stirring in large amounts of dry spices. Usually, there will be a chunk of mutton or beef meat, sometimes an entire leg, at the heart of each massive batch.
Saffron gives the rice taste and color, but typically the spices are milder than biryani. Whole cloves of cardamom and golden sultana raisins give off a beautifully sweet aroma, and at larger restaurants it may include peanuts and even pistachios as a garnish.
You can recognize pulao on the street in its absolutely huge stainless steel cooking vessel, a unique, bell-like shape, often resting at a curious 45-degree angle.
Kabuli Pulao smells gorgeous, looks beautiful, and of course tastes incredible as well. A perfect dish for lunch, walking around the lively street atmosphere of any of Pakistan’s large, bustling cities, especially common in and around Peshawar.