In the lively and aromatic kitchens of Afghanistan, the preparation of Shorwa unfolds, a hearty symphony that combines the rustic simplicity of ingredients with the magic of time-honored culinary techniques. Shorwa, meaning soup in Dari, is an embodiment of Afghan gastronomy – wholesome, flavorsome, and richly comforting.
The journey begins with a selection of meats. Some might prefer the tender delicacy of veal, while others may opt for the robust flavors of lamb or the familiarity of chicken. The choice of meat is an expression of personal preference, adding a unique character to each pot of Shorwa.
Next come the kidney beans and chickpeas, sturdy grains that lend their texture and heartiness to the soup. Fresh vegetables – a vibrant medley of the local produce – join the ensemble, filling the kitchen with a tantalizing aroma as they simmer together.
The heart of this culinary ballet is the pressure cooker, a stalwart of Afghan kitchens. Often perceived as a symbol of practicality and efficiency, the pressure cooker plays a pivotal role in the making of Shorwa. It not only speeds up the process but also ensures the flavors meld together harmoniously.
A good twenty-five minutes in the pressure cooker, and the ingredients start to reveal their magic. One can then perform the touch test to assess the meat’s tenderness. If the meat yields gently under the pressure of a spoon, it’s done. If not, it’s back under pressure until the stubborn fibers surrender to the heat, and the meat reaches the desired level of tenderness.
Working with a pressure cooker, one needs to be mindful of safety. Always ensure the pressure is fully released before opening the lid. You’ll usually hear a hissing sound once the heat is turned off, a signal that the pressure is being released. Only when the sound subsides should you attempt to open the cooker.
The final act in the making of Shorwa is the serving. It is ladled into bowls, its steam carrying the aroma that stirs your senses and whets your appetite. Afghan naan bread, warm and comforting, is ripped into small pieces and added to the bowl. The bread soaks up the soup, becoming a delicious, integral part of the Shorwa experience.
Shorwa is more than a meal; it’s a celebration of fresh vegetables, tender meat, and hearty grains. Some people prefer to eat it with their hands, the tactile experience adding another layer to their culinary enjoyment. As they savor each mouthful, they taste not just the rich flavors of the Shorwa, but also the essence of Afghanistan’s culinary heritage. Whether served in the bustling streets of Kabul or in homes far from Afghanistan, Shorwa remains a comforting reminder of home, a bowlful of love, warmth, and tradition.
Watch a short video on how to make Shorwa
What you need to make this delicious recipe
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- 1 tbsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 ½ tbsp. Salt
Shorwa (Afghan delicious soup)Course: Drinks
- In a pressure cooker, fry onions until golden brown.
- Add meat, turmeric powder, coriander powder, black pepper, salt.
- Add water, kidney beans, chickpeas, and chilly peppers (optional).
- Mix well, close pressure cooker and cook for 5 minutes on high and 25 minutes on low.
- Open the pressure valve a little bit to release pressure slowly. Once the pressure has released, open pressure cooker and add all the fresh vegetables: chopped carrots, chopped celery, green pepper, spinach, chopped coriander, chopped turnips, and mix well.
- You can touch test the meat to check for doneness at any point.
- Close the pressure cooker and cook for 5 minutes on high and 15 minutes on low or until meat is done.
- Once the pressure has released, open it, and lastly add chopped potatoes.
- Mix well and close the pressure cooker and cook for 5 minutes on high and 5 minutes on low.
- 10.t Once the pressure has released, open pressure cooker and serve the soup in one and vegetables and meat in another dish.
- 11.tIn a bowl. add bread in small pieces. Add soup, cooked meat, and cooked vegetables as much as desired. Serve with lots of fresh vegetables.
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