"This is a traditional Afghan stew recipe made with lamb, and seasoned with cumin and cilantro. Lean beef stew meat may be substituted for the lamb."

Ingredients 2 h 30 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 740 cals

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Original recipe yields 6 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 740 kcal
  • 37%
  • Fat:
  • 34.6 g
  • 53%
  • Carbs:
  • 77g
  • 25%
  • Protein:
  • 30.9 g
  • 62%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 74 mg
  • 25%
  • Sodium:
  • 88 mg
  • 4%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  1. Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, and fry gently until transparent. Increase heat to medium, and add garlic and stew meat. Cook, stirring frequently, until meat is browned on the outside. Pour in the water, and season with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and cumin. Bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low. Cover the pan, and continue cooking for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rice, and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add 6 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook loosely covered for about 30 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  3. Add spinach and cilantro to the meat mixture, and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Mound the rice on a platter, and spoon some of the lamb stew over. Put remaining stew in a separate serving bowl.
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Reviews 24

  1. 32 Ratings


This was excellent. I did follow some other reviewer suggestions, though: I used much less oil - not quite a 1/4 of a cup, I coated the beef in seasoned (cumin, pepper, cayenne pepper) flour, and I added a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes. As with most sauces/stews, it's even better the next day. Works well with the Indian Basmati Rice on this site, and would probably be good over noodles as well.


I'm giving this only 4 stars because I used the recipe only as a base, adding variations suggested by other reviewers. I used leftover grilled lamb kebabs from Easter, which were already well spiced with cumin and coriander. To that base I added canned tomato and chickpeas, as suggested by others, plus the rest of the recipe ingredients. It made a great stew that was wonderful over the basmati rice and was not too spicy for the kids (I added harisa to mine to pump up the heat!). Thanks for a good recipe and thanks to the other reviewers for making it great!


Excellent - I made a couple of small adjustments. I am trying to cut down on oil, so I used just a short pour of oil(worked fine, you don't need it to cook the onions and the fat from the meat is more than plenty to add the richness) I dredged the meat in flour before browning it to give it a bit more caramelizing (and because it helps the meat to hold it's juice, it is every bit as tender). I added Chick Peas. I added a bit of the chickpea liquid as I went on because the sauce was getting a bit cooked down, and it helped both with making more of a sauce, but also the starch thickened it nicely. I think both the Cilantro and Spinach could be substitutes with any non-sweet leafy green - I like the bitter green in things like this, but I am sure others prefer the less assertive spinach.