This was the first Afghan recipe that I made. Shohla, also known as Afghan Risotto, can either be sweet or savory. This one is savory, made with meat and split peas. I thought I'd start out easy, with this one, since it uses the slow cooker. I have a finnicky slow cooker that usually cooks dishes much faster than recommended cook times. Unfortunately, I ended up cooking this a little later than I had planned. To get dinner eaten in time I served it, though the rice still had a little "bite" to it. I modified the original recipe by omitting the jalapeno, so it wouldn't be too spicy for the kids (though I think it would have added more flavor to the dish). The recipe also called for dried mung beans, which I could not find. I served this with store-bought whole wheat naan. As our first recipe I thought this was okay. My daughter ate hers but my son only ate a bite but devoured his naan.
recipe adapted from Afghan Culture Unveiled
2 large yellow onions, peeled and quartered
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb. beef stewing meat, cut into medium chunks
1 tbsp. tomato sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups beef broth
¼ cup yellow split peas
2 cups short-grain white rice, rinsed and drained in a colander
½ tsp. ground black pepper
2 ½ tsp. dried dill
6 cups water
Puree the onions and garlic in a food processor. Put the onion/garlic puree, meat, tomato sauce, olive oil and beef broth into the slow cooker. Mix well and cook on low for 4 hours until the meat is cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed. The sauce be aromatic and it will have a rich brown color.
Add all the rest of the ingredients except the yogurt to the slow cooker. Stir thoroughly; continue to cook on low for 2 more hours. Cook until the meat is tender enough to easily cut with a fork and all the water is absorbed. If all the water is absorbed but the rice is still crunchy, add another cup of water, stir well, and cooks for another 15 minutes. Serve hot with a spoonful of plain yogurt.
Family Rating: 1 thumb up.