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afghan recipes

Shorwa – THE Afghan Soup

  • Author: Mirriam Seddiq
  • Total Time: 18 minute



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


  • 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