Afghan style stew

My husband’s family spent some time in Afghanistan when he was a kid, and he has some fond memories of an Afghan stew they would eat when visiting friends.  His dad described it to me as well as he could, and I tried to find a recipe that sounded like his description, but I couldn’t find anything that really sounded right, so I came up with my own recipe.  My husband said it was good, so that makes me happy, but if anyone reads this who really knows how to make Afghan stew, please feel free to make corrections in the comments. =)

*These amounts are all approximate and are for a 5 quart dutch oven- use your own judgement- the aim is for a very thick, wholesome stew.

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut oil (you can use any other oil, but I like coconut oil because it maintains its amazing health properties even at high heats, while some oils lose their health benefits when heated)
  • 1 large onion or leek, chopped
  • 2-3 large potatoes, sliced or chopped (I sliced mine about 1/4 inch thick and then chopped each round into quarters for easy bites)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons mineral salt
  • 8 cups bone broth (I used my goat ribs to make a nice rich, meaty broth, and I think the richness of the broth does make the stew have a really deep rich flavor, but I think you could use beef or lamb broth too)
  • 1-2 cups meat, raw or cooked (I think the traditional meat for this would be lamb, but I used goat, and beef could be used as well)
  • 2 cups lentils (I used 1 cup each of red and brown lentils)
  • 1 cup diced carrots or other veggies (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large soup pan.
  2. Add the onion and cook until translucent or soft.
  3. If you are using raw meat, add cubed meat at this point and allow to brown, then remove while browning potatoes.
  4. Add potatoes and cook until most of them are browned, stirring occasionally.
  5. If you are adding other vegetables, add them now too.
  6. Add spices and salt.
  7. Slowly add broth and lentils.
  8. Add meat.
  9. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until lentils are done or somewhat soft.  Add more broth if the stew starts to get too thick before the lentils are done.  You can always simmer a little longer with the lid off to thicken up the stew if it’s too thin for your taste.

Please comment if you make some yummy or allergy friendly adjustments to this or any of my recipes!

This is delicious by itself, but is traditionally served with rice.  My husband likes it best with naan.
Enjoy!

Update:  I have now made this using peppers as a substitute for onions and also adding carrots and celery.  It still tastes amazing with the changes, and I believe you could easily use carrots or another root vegetable as a substitute for the potatoes.

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