Narenj Palaw or Norinj Palau (Rice with orange) is one of traditional Afghan dishes and it has a lovely delicate flavour. This pilau is prepared with the peel of the bitter (or Seville) oranges. It is quite a sweet dish.
- 450 g long grain white rice, preferably basmati rice
- 75 ml vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 medium chicken or 700–900 g lamb on the bone cut in pieces
- 570 ml water, plus 110 ml water
- peel of 1 large orange
- 50 g sugar
- 50 g blanched and flaked almonds
- 50 g blanched and flaked pistachios
- ½ tsp saffron or egg yellow food color (optional)
- 25 ml rosewater (optional)
- 1 tsp ground green or white cardamom seeds (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 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.
- Heat the oil and add the chopped onions.
- Stir and fry them over a medium to high heat until golden brown and soft.
- Add the meat and fry until brown, turning frequently.
- Add 570 ml of water, salt and pepper and cook gently until the meat is tender.
- 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 in boiling water and then in cold.
- Repeat this several times. Set aside.
- Make a syrup by bringing to the boil 110 ml of water and the 50 g of 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 aside the peel and nuts.
- Add the saffron and rosewater to the syrup and boil again gently for another 3 minutes.
- To cook the rice, strain the chicken stock (setting the meat to one side), and add the syrup.
- Make the syrup and stock up to 570 ml by adding extra water if necessary.
- The oil will be on the surface of the stock and this should also be included in the cooking of the rice.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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°C (300°F, mark 2) – for 20–30 minutes. Or cook over a very low heat for the same length of time.
- 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.
(Source from http://www.afghankitchenrecipes.com)