Noodle Rice

Reshtah Palaw


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


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By Durkhanai Ayubi

Published 2020

  • About

This rice dish includes thin noodles. Traditionally in Afghanistan they would have been made from scratch. Over time, however, it has become common and convenient to use shop-bought noodles, which are dry-roasted before being cooked with the rice. Soak the rice for at least 2–3 hours beforehand.


  • 250 g (4 cups) thin dried egg noodles
  • 600 g (3 cups) sella basmati rice, soaked for 2–3 hours
  • 185 ml (ΒΎ cup) sunflower oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely diced


Gently break the noodles into smaller pieces in a large bowl; if the noodles are coiled, break them so that they are straight. Place a large frying pan over high heat for 2–3 minutes, until the base is hot, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the noodles and gently dry-roast them in small batches for 5 minutes per batch, or until golden brown. Remove them from the pan and set aside.

Bring 3 litres (12 cups) water to the boil in a large saucepan. Drain any excess water from the rice and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. Add 2 tablespoons salt and the rice to the boiling water and cook for 6–8 minutes, or until parboiled and the grains seem to have doubled in length. Add the noodles to the saucepan and boil for a further 2 minutes. Now drain the rice and noodles in a colander, discarding the water, and return to the pan.

In a small saucepan, heat the oil over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion and fry for 3–4 minutes, or until golden brown. Add 375 ml (1Β½ cups) water and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Add to the rice and noodle mixture and use a kafgeer or large, flat slotted spoon to mix gently, taking care not to break the noodles or the rice. Cover with a lid and cook over high heat for 5–6 minutes, or until steam starts to escape from under the lid; it’s important to keep an eye out for the steam to avoid overcooking the rice. Reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Serve on a large platter, alongside your favourite qormah curry.