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Afghanistan 2022 Recipes

Norinj Plau (Rice with Orange)

Serves 4

450 grams long grain, preferably basmati
Water for soaking
75 ml vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
I medium chicken cut in pieces
570 ml water plus 110 ml water, more if needed
peel of 1 large orange
50 grams sugar
50 grams blanched and flaked almonds
50 grams blanched and flaked pistachios
½ teaspoon saffron or egg yellow food color (optional)
25 ml rosewater (optional)
1 teaspoon ground green or white cardamom seeds (optional)
salt and pepper

Can also use aubergines (eggplant) and cauliflower, chopped into very small pieces.

1. Measure out the rice and rinse several times until the water remains clear. Add fresh water and leave the rice to soak for at least half an hour.
2. Heat the oil and add the chopped onions. Stir and fry them over a medium to high heat until golden brown and soft.
3. Add the pieces of chicken and fry until brown, turning frequently. Add 570 ml of water, salt, and pepper and cook gently until the meat is tender. (Keep the stock to us in cooking the rice.)
4. While the meat is cooking, wash and cut up the zest of a large orange into matchstick-sized pieces, removing as much pith as possible. To remove any bitter taste, put the orange strips into a strainer and dip first into boiling water and then into cold water. Repeat several times then set aside.
5. Make a syrup by bringing to the boil 110 ml water and the 50 grams sugar. Add the orange peel, the flaked almonds, and pistachios to the boiling syrup. Boil for about 5 minutes, skimming off the thick froth when necessary. Strain and set the peel and nuts aside. Add the saffron and rosewater, if using, to the syrup and boil again gently for another 3 minutes.
6. To cook the rice, place the meat on a plate, strain the chicken stock, and add the syrup. Measure the syrup and stock and, if necessary, add water to bring up to 570 ml. (There will be oil on the surface of the stock, which should also be included in the liquid in which you are cooking of the rice.)
7. Bring the liquid to the boil in a large casserole. Drain the rice and then add it to the boiling liquid. Add salt, the nuts and the peel, reserving about a third for garnishing.
8. Bring back to the boil, then cover with a tightly fitting lid, turn down the heat to medium and boil for about 10 minutes until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed.
9. Add the meat, the remaining peel and nuts on top of the rice and cover with a tightly fitting lid. Put into a preheated oven: 150 degrees C (300 degrees F) for 20–30 minutes. Or cook over a very low heat for the same length of time.
10. When serving place the meat in the centre of a large dish, mound the rice over the top and then garnish with the reserved orange peel and nuts.

Recipe from

Afghanistan 2022 - Recipes

  • Norinj Plau (Rice with Orange)

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