Sticky Rice with Meatballs and Qurut (Yogurt Curd)
By Christi Qazi / May 27, 2018
This is a very popular dish in Afghanistan, however, it does take a lot of time to prepare. For this recipe, you need short grain rice. In most Afghan or Iranian stores, you can ask for shola rice. You can also get good quality short grain rice from a western supermarket or specialty store. This recipe may take a few times to perfect, but once you do, it is very delicious. This dish is served with qorma (tomato based sauce) or kofta (meatballs). The recipe below will use kofta.
- 8 oz (1 cup) short grain rice, as noted above
- 2 oz of washed mung beans (green lentils may be substituted)
- 5-6 tablespoons (Tbsp) of vegetable oil (do not use any other type of oil)
- 1 Tbsp of salt (may be adjusted to taste)
- Black pepper to taste (optional for meatballs)
- 1 teaspoon (tsp) of dried chili (ground); this is also optional
- 16 oz of qurut and yogurt mix (mix 2 Tbsp of qurut with 16 oz of plain yogurt and 2 Tbsp of water)
- 2 tsp of dried mint
- 2 cloves of peeled, finely chopped and crushed garlic (mortar and pestle are helpful)
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1-2 pounds of ground beef or lamb (depending on how many meatballs you want, they are prepared like kofta challow)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric
- 1 medium yellow onion – diced
- 1 cup of rice, washed (in cold water) and set aside
In the pan (on medium heat), add ½ cup oil and 1 yellow onion chopped; make it light brown, then add the mung beans, 2 cups of water, ½ tsp chopped garlic, and ½ tsp turmeric. Boil it until it is medium soft, and then add the rice to the top it. Add 1 more cup of water and lower the heat to simmer. Be careful it doesn’t burn. Keep stirring until the mung beans are soft and the water is reduced. Put a top on the pan, and put into a 350 degree oven for ½ hour, until ready.
To prepare the kofta
Take 1 large chopped onion and brown in a pan with some water (approx. 1 cup); add tomato paste, 3-4 finely chopped garlic cloves, 1 bunch cilantro – chopped finely, and salt & black pepper to taste. Roll the meat into small meatballs and cook until golden brown. Add about 2-3 Tbsp of oil to the hot pan and one clove of finely chopped garlic onion meatballs, 1 cup of water to the meatballs, and cook till the water is gone, and oil rises back to the surface. This should take approximately 20-30 min.
In the center, use a small glass bowl, and put the qurut/yogurt mix in a small bowl, along with the hot oil and mint on top. Place the shola and meatballs around the qurut bowl, and drizzle some hot oil around the shola, and then finish with decorative finely chopped cilantro. Serve with Afghan bread.