This is the last of our slow cooker series recipe. We have really enjoyed experimenting with the recipes to make them slow cooker friendly. Your positive comments have encouraged us to do slow cooker recipes in the future.
Ever since starting this blog I find myself obsessively talking about Afghan food and recipes with any Afghan who happens to cross my path. In one of those sessions, my friend Yasmene mentioned that her aunt makes shohla, Afghan risotto, in a slow cooker. So, I thought we should give it a try too.
This dish is not most photogenic, but it tastes heavenly. Shohla e goshtee is definitely one of my favorite Afghan dishes. I remember on cold winter days when our cook would make shohla, and I would eat spoonful after spoonful until I couldn't move. It’s a warm, hearty dish, perfect for fall or winter dinners.
I have served this dish at my last few dinner parties and I must say it has been a big hit with the first timers as well as the scary crowd, Afghans Serving Afghan food to my mom or other Afghan guests always makes me a little uneasy (they have many constructive “comments”). But I bit the bullet last November and when I did some of the cooking for my sister Nabila’s birthday party, which we hosted at my house. The menu consisted of numerous dishes and since I have only four burners on my stove, I made the shohla in the slow cooker. I didn’t have to worry about it burning or not being ready on time -- a dream for entertaining.
There are different kinds of shohla; some are sweet, others are savory. Shohla e goshtee is savory and like most savory shohlas it is cooked with meat and beans. Sweet shohlas such as rice pudding are usually served as dessert. I make my shohla e goshtee with boneless beef stew meat since my husband Jim hates to futz around with bones. You can also use lamb or choose a cut that does well slow cooked on the bone. Cooking the dish low and slow really brings out the flavors of the meat and adds rich dimension to the soft, chewy rice, mung beans, and split peas. I like to eat the shohla with a dollop of plain yogurt and a salad.
Shohla e Goshtee
2 large yellow onions, peeled and quartered
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb. beef or lamb stewing meat, cut into medium chunks
1 cup dried mung beans, rinsed
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
1 jalapeno pepper, stem removed, quartered and seeded
3 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
2 ½ tsp. dried dill
¼ tsp. turmeric
6 cups water
Large oval or round slow cooker
Puree the onions and garlic in a food processor. Put the onion/garlic puree, meat, mung beans, 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 .
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.
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