Nasi Kebuli

Serves 3

Eid al Adha, one of an important Muslim religious celebration to honor the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep to sacrifice instead, will come soon. Indonesian Muslim families will have Eid al Adha prayers in the morning then followed by “Qurban” ceremony to commemorate what prophet Abraham went through. Goat, sheep and cows will be butchered according the Islamic rules and then afterward distribute to those in need.

In Indonesia, outside kitchen will be set up in Mosque or community centers and some of the meat will be cooked before distributed or eaten together in the Mosque area. For those interested in cultural culinary, this is a fine time to make a research of the vast recipes cooked from all parts of Indonesia, which will be different in basic spices and cooking preference due to historical influences. In most cases the meat will be cooked as ‘gulai’, curry style with a more watery gravy.

This recipe about “Nasi Kebuli” is popular among the Arabs who had integrated in the Betawi, native Jakarta, community. In most literature published in Indonesia, they will say that this rice originated from the Middle-East, yes, but which part. Once I was scrolling down the internet and found a website that focus on recipes from areas of Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and other countries around that area. I was comparing the ingredients of how they prepared rice from all of those areas. It turns out that this “Nasi Kebuli” was so similar to the preparation method done in “Kabul”. It’s too early to claim that it might had originated from Kabul but it was interesting to know. Unfortunately, I couldn’t trace back the website and silly me did not book mark the page. Hopefully I will find it again some day because the logic in which she provides her informative recipe was very educative and focused.

400 gr mutton with bone
500 ml water
4 tbs ghee
1 medium onion (cut into thin slices)
5 garlic cloves (crush and cut into small dices)
4 cm ginger (grate into a paste)
1 1/2 tbs coriander powder
10 cardamom pods (crush with the sides of your knife)
1 tsp white pepper
2-4 tsp black pepper
3 cups Biryani rice
600 ml milk
100gr raisins

How to prepare:
-saute the onion, garlic and ginger paste with ghee until fragrant
-add the mutton coriander powder, cardamom pods, white pepper, black pepper and cook for 30-40 minutes
-add the Biryani rice, milk, raisins, mix well and cook until the milk has dissipated
-transfer the Biryani in rice cooker or bake in oven


6 thoughts on “Nasi Kebuli

  1. We were in Marrakech last year during this momentous celebration. I can certainly understand the symbolism but I must admit it was difficult to walk through some of the poorer streets and see decaputated lamb heads on blankets ready to be cooked.

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