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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