An evening with Afghani pulao


The Afghani Pulao from Arsalan is a pretty good substitute for Biryani if you are trying to have a break from the ’emotion’ (Read Biryani).

Winter is probably the best time to go out and taste different type of dishes across the city. After all the helter-skelter we have been through in 2020, 2021 certainly calls for a fresh start and what better thing could be than Biryani for a foodie like to start with?

After being dried, roasted and chilled in Delhi, when I finally decided to come back to Kolkata in late 2020, Biryani from Arsalan was in my wish list, as I was very much missing the aroma of typical Kolkata Biryani that serves egg, mutton and potato in the same plate, unlike the Delhi or Hyderabadi ones.

Phew! I missed the Kolkata Biryani so much, the best one in the world!

So, I decided to get my time out from the busy schedule and went to the Arsalan nearest to my house, the shiny and plush looking one just near the Ruby connector. Although I am a diehard Biryani fan and don’t actually bother about a side dish, but this time, for the sake of taste-twist, opted from Afghani Pulao, instead of Biryani.

I never had the Afghani Pulao from Arsalan before and thought it must be a non-veg dish. However, proving me wrong, it arrived as a veg platter. And the moment I had the first spoonful of that mighty dish, oh boy; it was a mouth-watering sweet and salty rice platter you may say.

Mutton Tikka Butter Masala
Mutton Tikka Butter Masala

The royal white Afghani Pulao from Arsalan contains a lot of small pineapples pieces and peas along with other veggies giving a blast of blending tastes in the mouth. To complement this exotic dish, we also ordered Mutton Tikka Butter Masala. The marriage of buttery rice platter and red hot mutton pieces was absolutely great to our taste buds and to the pocket as well.

It is said that the Afghani pulao was actually introduced by Afghan immigrants living in Saudi Arabia. The one we tasted here is a variety of the Kabuli Palau or Kabuli Pulao. It was created by the upper-class families of Kabul who could afford to include caramelized carrots, plump raisins and coveted nuts in the rice to make it a delicacy.

Over time, as people in Afghanistan became wealthier, this dish became more affordable and common among them. The name too got changed from Kabuli Palau to Qabili Palau.

Worth not ordering Biryani

It is true that Biryani is not just a food, but an emotion!

But, after tasting the Afghani Pulao, I believe, that emotion can be easily diverted to this mouth-watering veg dish invented by our neighbours. The taste and aroma of it would certainly change the mind of diehard non-veg lovers and bring a smile to their face. Hence, take a chance and dive into the Afghan delicacy.

After all smile is brightest, when the food is best!

Also Read: Rabri gram and one fine weekend


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