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Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

23 November 2005


Well, tonight I went back into cooking mode. An Afghan feast for my family. I found some lamb while shopping last week and my mother suggested I cook up a meal for the family before Thanksgiving because my brother and sister would be coming into town and she (my mother) didn't want to cook twice.
So I did.

What we have here tonight is Qabili Pilau and Nan. The Pilau is a nice and lamb dish.
It requires 1 lb long grained rice (basmati recommended), 6 tbs vegetable oil, 2 medium onions chopped, 1.5-2 pounds lamb on the bone or 1 chicken jointed, salt and pepper, 2 large carrots, 4 oz seedless black raisins, 2 tsp cumin or char masala, .25 tsp saffron (optional).

First you rinse the rice and let it soak for at least 45 minutes.
Hear 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions. Stir and fry them until brown. Remove the onions from the oil and set aside. Put the lamb in the oil, Brown well on all sides in the oil. Add 1 cup water, and salt and pepper. Bring to boil then turn down the heat and let simmer until the meat is tender. (NOTE: the recipe doesn't say anything about it but following the example of the dish I ate in Afghanistan, I cut the lamb into fairly small chunks and in so doing of course removed the bones)
When cooked, remove the meat and put in a warm place. Grind the onions to a pulp, add them to the meat brothand stir well. Set this aside.
While the meat is cooking wash and peel the carrots and cut into pieces the size of matchsticks. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a small pan and add the carrots. Cook the carrots gently until lightly browned and tender. (If they stay tough add some water and simmer until tender. Be sure to let the water evaporate) Remove the carrots from the oil, add the raisins and cook them gently until they begin to swell up. Remove the raisins from the oil and set aside with the carrots. Save any remaining oil for the rice.
Bring 5 cups of water to boil and add about 1 tsp of salt. Drain the rice. Put the rice into the boiling water and par boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain the rice in a large sieve. Place the rice in a large casserole dish and sprinkle with the char masala/cumin and saffron. Take the meat juices and measure out about 3/4 cup. Pour it over the rice and stir gently once. Place the meat on one side of the dish and the carrots/raisins on the other. Pour any remaining oil over thr rice mixture. Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes.
To serve place about half the rice on a plate, put the meat on top then cover with the rest of the rice. Garnish with the carrots and raisins.
You will note, I did not follow that step. Instead of vegetable oil I used olive oil.
This is a very savory dish. I love it. Unfortunately for my brother and sister they were both delayed and will not arrive here for a few hours so they will be eating leftovers. But it reheats very well. If you have any questions about making this feel free to ask or just look on the web. There are several sites dealing in Afghan cooking.
I won't go over the bread recipe because I already did one on a previous post.
Have a great Thanksgiving, be safe.


Blogger The Zombie Lama said...


7:41 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Happy Thanksgiving Exmi..I hope it was a great one.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Blue Girl, Red State said...

Happy Thanksgiving. I actually dropped by to beg your presence over on the Washington Monthly site. The resident trolls keep trying to justify torture with a "ticking timebomb" scenario, and I know you oppose torture and those who think it is necessary. We could use your professional opinion. Thanks.

9:46 PM  
Blogger High Desert Diva said...

What a great Thanksgiving dinner! I love lamb & nan. VERY impressive! :D

10:29 PM  
Blogger Davo said...

Hi exmi,
just thought to drop in and say Hi from another hemisphere. Have seen you round the 'traps' (figure of speech)
Have never been in a 'shooting war' and am just thankful to be alive.
Best wishes.

11:54 PM  
Blogger The Dark Pig said...

What do you recommend dirnking with that?

6:10 AM  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

11 26 05

Hey Exmi: I hope you had a great Thxgiving, sounds like the food was excellent! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe:) I will highlight it tmw because I am doing a recipe piece for tmw's post! Take Care! I always like reading your blog because of the variety of topics!

4:03 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

Hope you all had a great feast.
Darl Pig, Afghan tradition would be Shin Chai. (Green tea)

Davo, welcome and come back often.

Variety is what keep things interesting.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

Exmi, shin chai, is that Pashtu? In Dari it's chai sapz - I had no idea one could be addicted to it as I am. Great stomach filler...

In your pilau, try adding almonds next time, whole ones. The crunchiness is awsome. As for me, you'll understand I'm trying to steer away from pilau at this point. A wholde day without any (actually a whole meal without any) would be bliss. This said, if you're gona have pilau, just a platter of fully cooked spinach along is delicious. And if you're really in cooking mode, while Afghans have kebab with one piece of meat, one of fat and one of meat, to make the whole stuff juicy, Tajiks take meat and fat together, roll it and put it on a stick. A little time consuming but it's meant to be yummy. (though I do find the white fat a lil gross, but that's me...)OK, haven't forgotten you wanted a recipe of nan. I'll check and will post on here soon.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Serena said...

I can't even read this entry...the picture looked so good, and I have no means to make my own feast. :(
Happy belated Turkey day!

2:47 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Looks yummy. My wife hates lamb, so you'll have to invite me over alone next time you make that.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! » »

6:02 PM  

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