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Shorwa- The Afghan Soup

afghan recipes

Shorwa is to soup as Sahara is to desert and Chai is to tea – Shorwa is the pashto word for soup. BUT in Afghanistan, shorwa is a very particular soup. See, all other soups have to be described, chicken soup, vegetable soup, etc. But shorwa – well, everyone knows what you are talking about which is why this recipe is titled THE Afghan soup. There are a few distinct steps to this recipe but I promise if you follow the recipe you can do it. Buy the bread – if you can get Afghan bread that is great, if not pita bread, lavash anything sort of flatbread will do. Make sure it is a bit old (maybe a day or two) I made my soup with bread I’d made that same day so it got a little softer than I normally like. But I need to make the soup!

quick note – our website has a small affiliate store where you can shop for ingredients and kitchen items I use in all of my episodes. We get a small affiliate fee from Amazon if you buy from our links. We appreciate your support.

This recipe is made much easier by using a pressure cooker or an instant pot. If you prefer video, scroll down and watch me make this step by step – and learn about Afghanistan at the same time. For a delicious side dish, make our Afghan pickle recipe (achar).

I’ve been using a pressure cooker my entire life and find it to be super easy and it doesn’t take up the counter space an instant pot would take. But, my mother has given up the pressure cooker for the instant pot. Either way, here are a two links to pressure cookers you might want to check out.

If you are looking for the platters and you can’t make it to China Town in NYC (where these are ubiquitous) here are a couple that could work for this and other Afghan dishes:

And, if you are looking for a spice bin like mine (in the video) and you can’t get to India, here is one that is is similar.

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afghan recipes

Shorwa – THE Afghan Soup


  • Author: Mirriam Seddiq
  • Total Time: 5 minute

Ingredients

Scale

4 tbs oil

1 large onion, chopped

45 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 tbs ginger, minced

2 tsp salt

2 tsp cumin power

2 tsp coriander

1 tsp turmeric

chili powder (optional and to taste)

a few grinds of black pepper

1 lb meat on the bone (oxtail, lamb or beef shanks or goat)

2 carrots peeled and cut into chunks

4 small – medium potatoes cut into chunks

1 28 oz. can tomatoes (peeled, crushed, or diced)

4 cups water

1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

1 can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)

1 loaf Afghan bread, pita or any other flat bread (about a day old) cut into bite sized pieces

Chili peppers, cilantro, parsley for garnish


Instructions

  • Heat your pressure cooker, instant pot or large dutch oven or pot over medium high heat. Once the pot is hot, add the oil.
  • Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the onions. Stir them around a bit and let them cook until they are very translucent and some start to brown around the edges.
  • Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic and the ginger. Stir and let cook for another minute.
  • Add the spices and continue to stir until your house smells deliciously aromatic.
  • Add the meat and stir until the spices and aromatics thoroughly coat the meat and the meat starts to brown. This will take a few minutes. Don’t rush it. Enjoy the sounds and the smells.
  • Add the tomatoes and keep stirring until it is all incorporated. Let this mixture cook for about 2 minutes. You want the tomatoes to lose some of that tinny taste.
  • Add the water.
  • If you are using a pressure cooker or instant pot, add the carrots and the potatoes now and stir.
  • If you are using a regular pot, do not add the potatoes and carrots yet. Cover your pot after you add the water, place it over medium-low heat and leave it to simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Stirring and checking it every so often to make sure the meat is starting to get tender.
  • If you are using a pressure cooker, let the soup come to a simmer, cover it and turn the heat to medium. Once it has reached pressure, let it cook for 25-35 minutes.
  • If you are using an instant pot, follow the directions. (I don’t have one so I can’t tell you how long on an instant pot.)
  • If you are using a regular pot, add your carrots and potatoes after 1 1/2 hours and let cook another 30 minutes until the carrots and potatoes are tender.
  • After 25-35 minutes in the pressure cooker, release the pressure and check your meat. It should be fork tender. If it is not, put it back on for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Once the meat is cooked to fork tender (if you are using a regular pot, once your potatoes and carrots are cooked through) add the two kinds of beans and allow to warm through, about 5 minutes.
  • Check for salt. Add if it needs more.

Now you are ready to serve!

Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat and vegetables and put them on a large platter, add chili peppers, cilantro and parsley on the top.

Plate the cut up bread into a large bowl. Pour the soup mixture on top of the bread making sure all of the bread is covered.

You now have two courses from one recipe!

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 35-2 hours
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Afghan

Keywords: soup, shorwa, afghan, cooking, afghanistan, afghan food, afghan cooking, recipes, oxtail, meat, bone broth, winter soup, soup season

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Rose, Cardamom and Coconut Ice Cream

quick note – our website has a small affiliate store where you can shop for ingredients and kitchen items I use in all of my episodes. We get a small affiliate fee from Amazon if you buy from our links. We appreciate your support.

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Rose, Cardamom and Coconut Ice Cream


  • Author: MirriamSeddiq
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x

Description

Sweetened condensed milk, crushed cardamom pods, rose water and toasted coconut make this a completely satisfying sweet treat.


Ingredients

Scale

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 cup whole milk 

1/41/3 cup sugar

pinch salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

34 cardamom pods

12 tsp rose water

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted

For the Topping

Unsweetened coconut flakes

Pink Himalayan salt or any sort of coarse salt

Rooh Afzah (Rose Syrup)

Sprinkles!


Instructions

Ice Cream Base

  • In a small saucepan, add about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of the milk and all of the sugar. Place it over low heat and warm it just to dissolve the sugar. You don’t want to bite into sugary bits in your ice cream. 
  • As soon as there are no more distinct sugar particles on your spoon, take the pan off the heat and transfer the milk and sugar to a large bowl. 
  • Crush the cardamom pods either with a mortar and pestle or put the pods in a bag and use a blunt object. Put the cardamom pods into the bowl with the sugared milk
  • Add the rest of the milk, and the sweetened condensed milk, salt, vanilla and the rose water. Stir and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, pour the mixture through a strainer to remove the cardamom pods and seeds. 
  • Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the instructions for your particular maker.
  • When the ice cream is almost done churning, add the toasted coconut. You can also add pistachios or walnuts at this time as well.
  • When the ice cream is done, transfer to an airtight container and let it harden for a couple of hours. But honestly, no one in my house waits for more than 30 minutes.

Salted Toasted Coconut

  • Preheat your oven to 350
  • Put the unsweetened shredded coconut on sheet tray. Sprinkle the salt and mix. Spread the coconut out so it is a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Place in the oven. DO NOT LEAVE THE KITCHEN OR YOUR COCONUT WILL BURN – THIS WILL TAKE NO MORE THAN 2-3 MINUTES

I don’t have to tell you how to eat ice cream, do I? Top with salted coconut, rose syrup and sprinkles and enjoy. 

 

Notes

I use this large Pyrex measuring cup to do a lot of mixing in because it is so much easier to pour things out – regular mixing bowls make a mess. 

I splurged a couple of years back and purchased this Whynter ice cream maker with an internal compressor. No forgetting to freeze the ice cream maker bowl anymore! 

Rose water can be found in a lot of supermarkets these days. I know Walmart in our area carries it. But, if not, have no fear. Here is a link

Do not confuse rose water with rose syrup. They are two very different things. Rose syrup is used as a topping for ice cream, or mixed with water and ice for a refreshing drink. But I can’t guarantee what it would be like if you added it to this ice cream base. Here is a link to the rose syrup

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Afghan

Keywords: ice cream, dessert, rose, cardamom, summer, coconut

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Aush Afghan Noodle Soup – Warm-Weather Treat

Aush Afghan Noodle

Aush isn’t Afghanistan’s national dish, but it’s a close second. Every household has it’s own recipe for Aush Afghan Noodle Soup.

This recipe is adapted for items you can find easily in your local grocery store. But, if you have access to a middle eastern supermarket you can find more authentic ingredients like Kashk (yogurt on steroids) and noodles made specifically for this dish. 

quick note – our website has a small affiliate store where you can shop for ingredients and kitchen items I use in all of my episodes. We get a small affiliate fee from Amazon if you buy from our links. We appreciate your support.

This version is pretty great also. I made this one with a plant based ground ‘meat’, but you can use any form of ground meat you like, cubed tofu, or do what my mom used to do and add a bag of frozen mixed veg. It’s delicious any way you make it.

People around the world love their noodle soups. Afghanistan is not alone:

Laksa (Southeast Asia), Pho (Vietnamese), Capellini en brodo (Italian), Pad Thai (Thailand), and even America, with Campbell’s.

(Who didn’t have that as a child?)

When the months get cooler, everyone craves warm comfort food. This dish has everything you need. A delicious broth, savory sauce, and tasty toppings. Make this dish, your family will thank you for it.

Also try our garlic yogurt sauce recipe and our Afghan green sauce recipe. If you make this Aush Afghan Noodle Soup, take a picture and tag us on Instagram at “Afghancooks” and we will repost it.

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Aush Afghan Noodle

Aush Afghan Noodle Soup


  • Author: MirriamSeddiq
  • Total Time: 45
  • Yield: 6 people 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the Sauce

  • 3 Tblsp Oil
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 Tblsp Ginger-Garlic paste or 3 cloves minced garlic and 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 Tblsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 lb Ground Meat, meat substitute, tofu
  • 1 28 oz. Can chopped, diced, crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1.5 cup Water

For the Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 1 cup Sour Cream (or Kashk if you can find it)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dried dill
  • 1 Tblsp dried min
  • 3 Cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced

For the Noodles

  • Spaghetti, Linguini, or any other type of dried noodle (macaroni is also popular)
  • 1 Can Kidney Beans
  • 1 Can Chick Peas (garbanzo beans)

Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley and jalapenos for garnish (optional)

 


Instructions

Start by making the sauce

  • Place a large saucepan on a burner over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for about 2 minutes, until the onions start to become translucent and fragrant. Turn down the heat to medium.
  • Add the ginger garlic, coriander, cumin, and turmeric. Cook for about 30 seconds stirring constantly.
  • Add the tomato paste and allow it to cook with the spices for another minute. You want the tomato paste to darken slightly. Don’t worry about brown bits on the bottom of your pan, just constantly stir and scrape.
  • Add the meat, or meat substitute. If you are adding tofu or vegetables do not add that now. Cook the meat until brown, about 5 minutes. Remember to stir and scrape. Add the salt and pepper.
  • Once the meat is browned, add the canned tomatoes and the water. Stir up all the cooked on bits on the bottom.
  • Check for salt. Add more if it is needed.
  • This is the time to add the tofu or frozen veg if that’s what you are using.
  • Cover and put on medium low heat while you work on the noodles.

Make the noodles

  • In a large pot filled with water and generously salted, cook the noodles according to the package directions, but for less time than indicated on the package. If you have long noodles, it is customary to break the noodles. The noodles should be very al dente since they will continue to cook during the rest of the recipe. While the noodles are cooking, make the yogurt sauce.

Make the yogurt sauce

  • In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sour cream (or kashk), lemon juice, garlic, salt, dill and mint. Remember to taste to make sure there is enough salt. Set aside and wait for the noodles to get to the very al dente stage.

Put the whole thing together

  • When your noodles are almost cooked, add the kidney and garbanzo beans into the pot (do not drain the noodles, the pasta water becomes the broth) and allow to warm through.
  • Slowly add half the yogurt sauce, stirring to make sure it gets thoroughly incorporated. Let simmer until noodles are fully cooked.
  • Add half the meat sauce and stir again to incorporate. Let simmer another minute or two. Check for salt and add more if needed.
  • Take off heat. You can serve from the cooking pot like pictured above or transfer to a large serving bowl. Top with the remaining yogurt sauce, meat sauce, chopped cilantro or parsley and jalapenos and enjoy.
  • Add the

Notes

If you have any questions about this Aush Afghan Noodle Soup, hit me up on twitter @mirriam71. Or, Instagram at @afghancooks.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Afghan

Keywords: soup, noodle soup, Afghan food, afghan recipes, afghan, winter food, winter soup, vegetarian, vegan, meatless, meat, ground beef, ground turkey, tofu, hearty