shahee polo (king's rice)

Categories
Afghan
Yield
10 servings
MeasureIngredient
½ cup Corn oil
5 mediums (4 cups) onions; chopped
4 pounds Baby lamb; cut into 3-in
  ; pieces, including
  ; bone
2 pounds Carrots; cut into thin
  ; julienne slices,
  ; 2-" long
1 cup Dark or light raisins
1 cup Pistachio nuts; shelled (optional
  ; but recommended
Heads garlic; cloves separated
  ; but not peeled,
  ; rinsed in water
4 cups Raw rice; well rinsed
3½  Cups; water, warm
Teaspoons; salt, or to taste
Teaspoon; pepper

The extravagantly seasoned & adorned King's Rice is so-called because, according to the Afghan Jews, it is fit for a king. It is a very expensive preparation, served only on ceremonial occasions such as Bar Mitzvahs, holidays, & for special guests. It is not an everyday kind of rice. Nor is the lamb an ordinary baby lamb! The sheep most often seen in Middle Eastern or North American are a special breed (I called them fat-tail sheep) w/ such a fat tail that it might drag on the ground. The tail is a prized source of cooking fat. (The lambs are usually fattened at home.) 1. Heat oil in pan large enough to contain all ingreds. Add onions & stir-fry over moderate heat for 2 mins. Add meat & brown for abt 15 mins.

Remove the meat & onions to platter or a bowl. The balance of the oil remains in the pan.

2. Cover the bottom of the pan w/half the carrots to protect meat from scorching. Over this, arrange the meat & onions. Cover w/ the balance of the carrots. Sprinkle w/pistachios & garlic cloves over all.

3. Add the rice to cover other ingreds & carefully pour in water, salt, & pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil & simmer for abt 10 mins, or until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Stir top of rice lightly to mix but do not disturb other ingreds. Turn heat to low, cover the pan, & cook for abt 1 hr w/out stirring.

Serve the polo w/salads, pickles, & Afghan bread (Noni Afghani -- see AFGHANI.019). Serves 10.

VARIATION: The polo can be prepared w/chicken & boneless beef chuck or ribs of beef. Stir-fry 15 pieces of chicken (legs, thighs, & breast) or 4 lbs beef, w/onions as in the basic recipes; all other steps are the same. The beef will take longer to tenderize & it is suggested that it be cooked w/onions in a covered pan for 20 mins before moving on to the next steps.

Recipe: "Sephardic Cooking" by Copeland Mark -- 600 Recipes Created in Exotic Sephardic Kitchens from Morocco to India, 1992 Published by Donald I. Fine, Inc., N.Y. [> Be Seeing You -- DPileggi Per serving: 208 Calories (kcal); 17g Total Fat; (71% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 29mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); ½ Lean Meat; 1½ Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 3 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

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