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kabuli pulao recipe

Kabuli Pulao Recipe

Nosheen Babar
A sweet and savory Kabuli Pulao Recipe that is of Afghani origin and has made its way to Pakistan. A very popular and old family recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Print Recipe
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine afghani, Pakistani
Servings 8
Calories 476 kcal


  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tsp crushed ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp salt (SEE NOTES)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (SEE NOTES)
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick (1 inch piece)
  • 1 tsp black cumin seeds
  • 4 cups rice (SEE NOTES)
  • ½ cups shredded carrots
  • ½ cup golden raisins (SEE NOTES)


  • Heat the ¼ cup oil
  • Slice the onions into thin semi circles and cook until they're a deep medium brown.
  • Add the garlic paste and crushed ginger paste and saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Add the rinsed and drained chickpeas along with the salt, coriander powder and water and cook on high for about 10 minutes to make a thick gravy.
  • Dry roast the pine nuts in a nonstick pan and set aside to use later.
  • Take the peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick and black cumin seeds and tie in a small piece of cheesecloth to make a spice pouch (SEE NOTES)
  • Add the chickpea gravy, 5 cups of water, 4 cups of rinsed and drained Sela Basmati rice, the spice pouch, ½ cup shredded carrots and ½ cup of raisins to your Instant pot.
  • Seal and cook on High Pressure for 4 minutes with a 15 minute release.
  • Open the lid carefully, fluff the rice, plate it and sprinkle with the toasted nuts and serve!



SALT: Once you add the water to the Instant pot check the salt and adjust if necessary. Remember that the rice will absorb a lot of the salt so your stock should taste very salty. If it doesn't you probably need to add more. Since everyone has different tastes I usually suggest a median amount and leave some room for adjustment. 
PINE NUTS: I like Pine Nuts as they have a very mild taste that perfectly balances the flavors in this pulao but Many people use Cashew Nuts, Almonds and even Pistachios  so feel free to use what you have on hand or prefer. 
RICE: I like the long grain of Sela Basmati Rice but plain Basmati is also a good choice. I wouldn't go with a grain that's shorter than basmati, it won't work well for this recipe. If using regular Basmati then 4 cups of water for 4 cups of rice is plenty in the Instant pot. Sela absorbs more water so needs that extra cup, but Basmati will become soggy with that extra amount.
GOLDEN RAISINS: Traditionally Afghani Pulao contains Golden Raisins but the darker variety can easily be swapped depending on preferences and availability.
SPICE POUCH: I don't like to accidentally get the whole spices in my mouth so use a spice pouch. This way I get that infusion of taste but I can pull the pouch out before serving and not worry about biting into a peppercorn or a clove.


Serving: 1gCalories: 476kcalCarbohydrates: 86gProtein: 8gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 596mgPotassium: 286mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1344IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 2mg
Keyword afghani pulao, chickpea pulao, kabuli pulao
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