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Chainaki: Traditional Afghani Lamb Dish

Chainaki is one of Afghanistan’s traditional dishes–a lamb stew made with meat, fat, vegetables, and spices. Chainaki’s name comes from the word–chainak–the clay teapot the meal slowly cooks in. This dish is integral to the culinary history of Afghanistan.

Servings: 2

Cooking and Prep time: 2 hours in low medium heat

Ingredients

Lamb meat (2 lbs)

Canola oil – as needed

Turmeric (1 Tbsp)

Dried sour prune (2 pcs)

Onion (1 bulb)

Garlic (4 cloves)

Tomato paste (1 Tbsp)

Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. To prepare this dish, use the traditional clay-based pot.
  2. Dice the onions into small pieces.
  3. In a saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of canola oil
  4. Add the diced onions and sauté until crispy brown
  5. Add the lamb meat and mix well
  6. Add one tablespoon of turmeric and salt as needed, then add one spoon of tomato paste and mix well.
  7. Cut the garlic and add it to the mixture.
  8. Transfer the contents to the clay pot and add hot water
  9. Add 2 dried prunes to the pot. Cover the top with aluminium foil to allow it to steam.
  10. Heat the oven to 450 degrees and place the pot in the oven for about 2 hours.
  11. After 2 hours, check the lamb meat to see if it’s well cooked.
  12. Serve with a side of Afghan bread, salad, and hot sauce.

Mastora Arghandewall | Contributing Writer

Winter 2023

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