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Kichri from Herat -Afghan rice recipe

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Kichri from Herat -Afghan rice recipe

Afghan rice recipe

This Kichri recipe is a dish from Herat province in Afghanistan. It is a rice dish cooked with braised beef or lamb. The mung beans add a distinct flavour and texture to the dish when cooked with black pepper.

  • 40
  • Serves 8
  • Hard




4 cups basmati rice
2 cups split Mung beans
1 kg beef cut into 4 cm by 4 cm pieces
½ cup olive oil + ¼ cup olive oil extra
2 large onions finely chopped separately
1 TSP salt
1 TBSP black pepper
1 TBSP black cardamom ground
1 ½ TBSP cumin ground
1 TBSP turmeric
3 cups beef or chicken stock
Salt to taste

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Rice and Mung beans
Wash and soak the split Mung beans and rice separately for approximately 3- 5 hours. Take out the Mung beans and drain of all water. Set aside. In a pot, add ¼ cup olive oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, add Mung beans and stir around until the moisture has dried up and beans begin to fry. The colour will darken. Set aside.



Add half the oil, one onion, salt, black pepper, meat, turmeric, cumin, cardamom and stock into a pressure cooker or slow cooker and cook for 30 - 90 mins. The time will depend on your cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, put all the ingredients in a large heavy pot and cook covered on medium heat until the meat is cooked through. It could take several hours if doing this without a pressure cooker but well worth the effort.The meat is ready when it is well cooked but not falling apart. When ready, take out the meat, cover and set aside. Allow the stew to cool.


Onion flavouring

Put the leftover onion and remaining oil in a frying pan. Fry until the onion is browned, but not burnt. This will create the colour of the rice. When cooled enough to handle, put the onion inside an electric grinder and grind to a paste. Use a mortar and pestle if you prefer to mash up the onion. Mix the paste with the stew. Strain the stew using a strainer or sieve. Push with a fork to mash any onion from the stew through the strainer.


Combine and cook

If using a rice cooker: combine drained rice with fried mung beans and cover with stew to one inch above the rice. If you don’t have enough stew add more stock or water to bring it to one inch above the rice. Put the meat on top. Cook for 30-45 minutes depending on your cooker settings.

If not using a rice cooker, use a pot with a lid: combine drained rice with fried mung beans and add the stew. Boil on low heat until the water has evaporated. Stir regularly so the bottom does not stick.

When the moisture has gone, gather the rice into a mound with a spatula. Make three holes in the mound. Pour ½ cup of water into the three holes.

Cover the pot with aluminium foil. Cover the foil with a tea towel. Place the lid on top of tea towel. Gather up edges of tea towel around the pot. Place an upside down saucepan over the top of the lid to hold firmly in place. Cook for 30 - 45 minutes on low heat.



Serve in a large sharing platter by putting the meat under the rice.


Not everyone in this world loves to cook. However, those who love cooking are truly lucky, as well as their families. It is a great experience that makes you happy and makes others happy as well. If you love cooking, keep up the passion. It is the best feeling ever. 😊

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