Quabili Pallow (Ghabali Polo)

Penrith City Council Logo

Culture: Afghan

Food: Quabili Pallow (Ghabali Polo)

Spice: Cumin

Participant: Roza Akel and Rahima Soltani


Why did I choose this dish?

Quabili Pallow (Ghabali Polo) is a famous and traditional Afghan dish. It is best served in big gatherings such as celebrations. Quabili Pallow (Ghabali Polo) is well known around the world and is served almost at all Afghan restaurants.

What I love most about the dish is the taste of the herbs that stay in the mouth after each bite, the fluffiness of the rice and the tender meat.

My best memory of this dish is it being served at family gatherings, as well as the memory of coming home as a child from school and smelling the aroma of the cumin engulf the house as I walked through the door. I knew that mum was making the special dish, Quabili Pallow (Ghabali Polo).




  • Basmati long rice 3 cups rice
  • 1kg of lamb meat (or other meat)
  • 1 big onion – chopped and cook in 5 table spoons of oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 1 table spoon of tomato paste
  • 1 cup shredded carrots – cook in 1 cup of oil
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon for rice cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 2-3 cups of water
  • ½ cup of almonds
  • ½ cup pistachio


  1. Cut up the meat if needed.
  2. Add 5 tablespoons of oil in a pot and sauté the chopped onions until they begin to slightly turn a golden colour. Add the meat, salt and pepper, cumin (½ teaspoon), coriander powder, tomato paste and garlic.
  3. Stir and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add 2-3 cups of water. Cover and allow it to cook for 15-30 minutes until meat is tender. When the meat is ready make sure you keep at least 2 cups of broth.
  5. Wash the shredded carrot and sauté with 1 cup of oil until it is tender. Set aside.
  6. Wash the raisins and sauté them in oil until tender. Add almonds and pistachios. Set aside.
  7. Boil water to cook the rice. Once the rice is halfway cooked drain the water.
  8. Pour 2 cups of the broth over the rice and check seasoning. Add ½ teaspoon of cumin powder.
  9. Cover the lid of the pot with a clean cloth to preserve the steam. Cooking on low for 30 minutes.
  10. Once rice is cooked place it on a platter. Layer the dish starting with rice, then meat, then rice and finally add the carrots, sultans and nuts.
  11. You can also serve it with salad, pickles or yogurt.

Back to QSRT 2019 - Sharing Stories, Sharing Spices Project