Spicy Shola or Sholay

Shola or sholay is a very famous Afghani savory rice dish. The rice used in this recipe is usually short-grain rice (toota chawal) because it is cooked with water, pulses, spinach and with either mince meat or tiny pieces of meat. Traditionally it is made with either lamb or beef mince but chicken mince will do just fine as well.

The process of cooking rice in abundant water in Afghani terminology is called Bata.

In Afghani cuisine, the term shola is used for both savory and sweet rice dishes but here in our Asian/Desi cuisine, shola is considered to be a main course rice dish, period.

Here’s how Wikipedia defines the term Shola:

Shola or Sholay (sholley) is a renowned Afghani dish which is a meal initslef. A wholesome pack of rice, lentil, spinach and meat. The rice usually short-grain are cooked in water till soft and sticky.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Shola or sholay is a sort of Haleem and tastes pretty awesome. You can make it in beef, mutton or with even small boneless pieces of chicken. But traditionally it is cooked with chunks of mutton or beef. The rice is mushy and sticky while the finely chopped spinach pieces give it a very unique touch.

What you need

Oil 1/2 cup
Onions 2 finely sliced
Ginger-garlic paste 2 tbsp
Mince beef 1/2 kg
Salt 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp, heaped
Red chili powder 2 tbsp, heaped
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Roasted cumin powder 1 tsp
Garam Masal powder 1 tbsp
Water 1/2 cup
Moong Daal 250 g
Rice 500 g
Yogurt 250 g
Spinach 1/2 kg, finely chopped

For the Bhagar:

What you need

Oil 1/2  cup
Red chili Whole 5-6 optional
Ginger I inch piece sliced
Green chilies finely chopped, optional
Coriander finely chopped, optional
Brown onions For topping optional

How it’s made

  1. Soak rice and Moong daal together in a bowl, set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add sliced onions and brown them. Or if you have store-bought  store-bought brown onions, throw them into the pan.
  3. Once the onions are browned, add in garlic/ginger paste and beef.
  4. Bhoonofy beef for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Now add in the seasonings: salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and roasted cumin powder.
  6. Cook or bhoonofy mince beef and then add  half cup of water and cover.
  7. Once beef is cooked and oil comes on top, add in yoghurt.
  8. Now add in rice, finely chopped spinach and daal.
  9. Add in little water and cook till rice and the moong daal is soft and tender. Add more water if required.
  10. Once it takes a haleem type consistency, blend half of it if you like. And if you prefer it to be grainy and chunky, leave it the way it is (I didn’t blend at all)
  11. Once you want to serve it, give it a bhagaar.
  12. For bhagaar, first add oil in a frying pan, throw in ginger and the rest of the ingredients, if you like. Sautee ginger and pour it over the spicy savory shola in a bowl.
  13. Now bring on some forks and tablespoons and enjoy a different yet simple neighboring cuisine.

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About |eemz

A (25, no not any more) 26 year old wife, mom, writer, jack of all trades. A someone who cooks for fun like a pro, living her dream :) Alhumdolillah!
This entry was posted in Afghani Cuisine, Beef, Chicken, Main Course dishes, Meat, Mince meat or Qeema, Mutton, Pulses, Rice. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Spicy Shola or Sholay

  1. Saba Murtaza says:

    In sindh we cook dish with same name but with different style. It contain soya leaves as main ingredient and tootay chawal (broken rice), and it is as mouth watering as this dish sounds and looks.
    I’m deffinately going to try this recipe and I’m sure it’d be a hit. thanks for the recipe. :)

    • |eemz says:

      Do let me know how it turned out Saba 😀 and if you can please do send your recipe of making shola. Would love to try your version as well 😀

  2. Saba Murtaza says:

    Sure I’ll email you.
    BTW, you didn’t mention here when to add spinach in this dish.

  3. I love reading about dishes from other countries. I’ve hardly read about dishes from Pakistan so this is so interesting. It looks delicious and I would love to eat a dish like this!

  4. Shabnam says:

    It would be helpful if the measurements are in cups ,spoons,( pounds or kg for meat etc). I find it hard too transfer 250 gram of almonds, yogurt in useable quantities.
    Other than that your recipes are very good.
    Thanks.

  5. Sara says:

    Asalamualikum!
    I had bookmarked this recipe and was wanting to try it for the past few weeks. Alhamdulilah it turned out lovely! must say it is true comfort food. I messed up a little bit by soaking the daal and rice together so it took forever for the daal to cook, inshallah next time I’d definitely boil the daal beforehand so that my rice are not too overcooked.

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