That is how I describe my kitchen right now. Dish after dish, bite upon bite, everything from the past two weeks has been better than I ever expected. Maybe my expectations have been too low, but every recipe has earned an Exceeded Expectations (HP reference, anyone?). Here’s the scene: I make the recipe, and I can’t stop myself from eating ALL OF THE FOOD right then and there. Then, once it’s gone, I’m sad. Sad like a puppy that has just lost his bone. That sad.
And while we’re just starting to get into Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, if what I have made so far is any indication, the winning will continue.
In deciding what to share first, I wasn’t sure if I should move forward or give you the last bit from Sri Lanka. After due consideration, I figured I’d save that Sri Lankan surprise for later in the week.
For today, take a look at Maushawa, a traditional meatball soup from Afghanistan. There are a gazillion (literally) versions out there, so I of course adapted the recipes I found to bring you my own. Actually, what I’m giving you is a bit more liquidy than mine actually turned out to be, just because I think it’d be better that way. It has flavor very similar to that of the Shorba I made that I still dream about eating. It’s very, very good. And, since winter is still upon, a hearty stoup is still in the cards.
Also, shout out to my sous chef, Gnocchi, who I’m teaching to cook, and who helped me from start to finish.
Recipe adapted from thebrookcook
Makes a lot. Like, 10-12 servings
For the base:
1 15-oz can of red kidney beans
½ cup green split peas
½ cup pink split peas
1 cup basmati rice
7 cups chicken stock
4 tsp sea salt
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground lamb
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 TB olive oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 TB crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
3 TB chopped dill
1 handful parsley, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup chicken stock
1. Rinse the kidney beans and split peas and place in a soup pot with 7 cups stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so the lentils don’t stick to the bottom and burn (which mine did).
2. Rinse the rice and add to the pot with the salt. Simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the ingredients are soft.
3. Meanwhile, combine the meat with the seasonings and shape into balls with about 1 ½ tsp meat.
4. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high and fry the onion with the spices until translucent and lightly brown.
5. Add the meatballs to the onion and fry, stirring often, until browned. Stir in tomatoes and 1 cup stock or water. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Add meatball mixture to the bean mixture, another 2 cups water, the lemon and dill. Bring to a boil, stirring over low heat until almost boiling.
7. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Finish off with a topping of parsley (and feta, if you are feeling cheesy).