Main image of Shola - Afghan Savoury Sticky Rice

Shola - Afghan Savoury Sticky Rice

1 hr + 30 min

Meal

Side

This delicious, savoury Afghan rice dish uses short-grain rice to produce a creamy, cozy meal. This dish can be enjoyed as a meal on its own, but traditionally it's served alongside other small Afghan side dishes, such as banjan, salata, golpea, and more.

Servings

Total

1 hr + 30 min

Prep

15 min

Cook

1 hr + 15 min

Contains

Soy symbol

soy

Free from

Peanut symbol

peanut

Treenut symbol

tree nut

Sesame symbol

sesame

Gluten symbol

gluten

Ingredients

Mung bean rice

  • ¼ cup (60 mL)
    vegetable oil
  • 2
    medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2
    cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp (33 g)
    canned tomato paste
  • 1½ tsp (3 g)
    paprika powder
  • 1 tsp (3 g)
    ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp (3 g)
    ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp
    ground black pepper
  • 5 cups (1200 mL)
    water
  • 1 cup (207 g)
    dry mung beans, soaked overnight
  • 2½ cups (500 g)
    uncooked short-grain white rice, rinsed
  • ¼ cup (12 g)
    dried dill
  • 1½ tsp (9 g)
    salt

Gheymeh - tomato sauce topping

  • 1 cup (190 g)
    dry split yellow chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • ¼ cup (60 mL)
    vegetable oil
  • 2
    medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 4
    cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp (33 g)
    canned tomato paste
  • 2 tsp (12 g)
    salt
  • 1 tsp (3 g)
    ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp (2 g)
    ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup (60 mL)
    water

Garlic yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup (240 mL)
    unsweetened soy yogurt
  • 2
    cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp
    salt

Serves well with

Optional garnishes

  • dried mint leaves
  • fresh dill
  • paprika powder
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Directions

  1. To a large pot, add the drained split chickpeas and cover with 8 cups (2 L) of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a rapid simmer, and cook for 30 - 60 minutes, or until the split chickpeas are fully cooked through*. Then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, make the flavoured rice. Add the oil to a large pot over medium-high heat and cook the onions until golden.
  3. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds, stirring throughout.
  4. Add the paprika, turmeric, cumin, and pepper. Stir for about 1 more minute to toast the spices.
  5. Then add the water and drained mung beans. Partially cover and cook for 20 - 25 minutes at a gentle simmer. Then scoop a mung bean out of the pot and pinch it between your fingers. When it's about 50% cooked, soft on the outside but still a bit firm in the middle, move onto the next step.
  6. Add the rice, dried dill, and salt, stir. Make sure there is 1 inch (2 cm) of liquid above the rice. If not, add more water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes. Stir periodically.
  7. To make the gheymeh, add the oil to a saucepan on medium-high heat. When hot, cook the onions for 5 - 7 minutes, or until golden.
  8. Add the garlic, tomato paste, salt, turmeric, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, stirring throughout. Then add the drained cooked split chickpeas, and ¼ cup (60 mL) water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn off the heat.
  9. Returning to the rice, when it’s cooked through, wrap a clean kitchen cloth around the lid of the pot and cover, allowing the rice and beans to steam for an additional 10 minutes on very low heat. This helps to ensure that all the rice and mung beans are ultra-soft.
  10. To make the yogurt sauce, combine the yogurt, garlic, and salt in a small bowl.
  11. To assemble the dish, scoop a generous serving of the rice into a serving dish. Top with some of the gheymeh.
  12. Add a generous drizzle of the yogurt sauce, garnish, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Speed-it-up: split chickpeas are also known as chana dal or split yellow peas. To speed up this recipe, you can substitute the split chickpeas for brown or green lentils. In this case, the cooking time is significantly reduced, down to about 20 minutes.
  • * The cooking time can vary drastically depending on the source and brand. Continue to check on them and cook until completely soft into the centre.

Storage

  • Store the rice and gheymeh in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • The yogurt sauce is best enjoyed immediately, otherwise it's best to store separately from the rice in the fridge for up to 2 days. Note that the sauce will curdle, and that's normal. Simply stir for it to become smooth again.

Let us know what you think

Plate method

The Plate Method is a visual tool that helps us ensure our dietary needs are on track. Touch the image below to see how this recipe measures up.

Grains & Starches 44%

uncooked short-grain white rice

Proteins 37%

dry mung beans

dry split yellow chickpeas

unsweetened soy yogurt

Fruits & Veggies 19%

medium yellow onion

clove garlic

canned tomato paste

medium yellow onion

clove garlic

canned tomato paste

clove garlic

Calcium

unsweetened soy yogurt

Fat

vegetable oil

vegetable oil

Nutrition info

We believe that focusing on numbers can harm our relationship with food. Instead, our philosophy is to Nourish the Cells & the Soul. If you require specific nutrition information due to a medical condition, please consult with a dietitian or physician. The nutritional information provided is composed with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed values, see also our disclaimer.

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Discussion & Rating

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Rachelle - Aug. 12, 2022, 8:42 p.m.

Loved this dish! Made it with whole chickpeas for a little variation in size. Will have to try it again with green lentils. I could literally drink the garlic yogurt sauce! Made it with the salata, which is one of my faves. This was my first foray into cooking an Afghan recipe and I'm in love. There's a local Afghan restaurant that I frequent, so I'm super stoked to find some recipes that I can make at home.

PUL Team - Aug. 13, 2022, 7:56 a.m.

Thank you for the glowing feedback and for sharing your experience with it, Rachelle, it means so much! Happy cooking 🤗


Liv - Aug. 1, 2022, 12:45 a.m.

The dish is incredible and so versatile with any legumes you put on it! We tried it out at home and it was an incredible success, even with my picky-eaters! The combination of the flavors and textures is outstanding. It is so easy to batch cook, really satiating and it combines well with so many side dishes. I honestly can't recommend this dish enough. So practical and delicious. Don't be intimidated by the hour and half cook time most of the time you will be waiting for the food and can do other things.

PUL Team - Aug. 2, 2022, 4:52 a.m.

Aw it means so much, Liv, thank you so very much for the glowing review ✨


Nadia - May 8, 2022, 8:46 p.m.

This really really is an absolutely amazing recipe!!! I made it tonight with the kichaloo banjan and salata and everyone went for seconds. The flavours of the rice, gheymeh and yoghurt sauce were all quite subtle (still delicious!) but together - oh my - it was sooo good. It paired lovely with the kichaloo banjan and salata, which were thoroughly enjoyed as well. Will definitely be making this again!!!

PUL Team - May 9, 2022, 3:30 p.m.

We're so happy the recipe was enjoyed with the pairings, Nadia! Thank you 🤩


Olivia - Feb. 6, 2022, 7:29 p.m.

This was really delicious! I made the shole with Borani Banjan and Salata for a small dinner party and my friends were AMAZED at the flavor! For 4 people I should've done 4 servings but I went with 8 which was way way way too much - I had enough to send everyone home with leftovers and have plenty leftover for myself. I subbed regular chickpeas for the split chickpeas, french green lentils for mung beans, and brown short grain rice instead of white. I put the brown rice in just a few minutes after adding the lentils and did have to add quite a bit more water and double the time for the brown rice. Initially I thought the dill was way over the top too much and I was skeptical as I was bringing it all together but it turned out amazing. That yogurt sauce is the perfect pairing with this.

PUL Team - Feb. 6, 2022, 10 p.m.

We're so honoured the shola was enjoyed, Olivia! Thanks for taking the time to share the glowing review 💚


Tracey - Jan. 31, 2022, 12:02 a.m.

I made this for a friend yesterday and we loved it! This is the first time I that I have made Shola and I think it is a very tasty and comforting dish so I'm really glad to have found your recipe. The added benefit is that mung beans are beneficial for sleep so I have woken up this morning having had a really great night's sleep as well. I will definitely be making this dish again.

PUL Team - Jan. 31, 2022, 2:29 a.m.

Oh it means so much, Tracey, thanks for taking the time to share the kind words 😃


Sonia - Nov. 10, 2021, 6:38 p.m.

I'm going to try this next week, but I can't find any mung beans around me, what would you swap them for ? Thank you for all your answers !

PUL Team - Nov. 11, 2021, 1:35 a.m.

Hi there, Sonia! Thanks for the question. We've heard positive reviews substituting the mung beans for lentils. Green lentils may work best as they don't tend to get as mushy as others.

If using lentils, also no need to soak them overnight. Even just a 1 to 2 hour soak is okay, or no soaking at all. Just be sure to rinse them, and you can add them closer to the rice as lentils cook faster than mung beans. We hope you enjoy the recipe if you give it a try✨


Anna - Oct. 13, 2021, 9:06 p.m.

I was pretty uncertain about this recipe because I don't often use mung beans or split chickpeas, but it turned out amazing! The gheymeh was the best part - perfect amount of spice and really satisfying flavor. I've loved the Afghan recipes so far and this one was no disappointment. Will definitely be making this again!

PUL Team - Oct. 14, 2021, 3:24 a.m.

We appreciate this so much, Anna, and so happy the recipe was enjoyed 🤗


Fleanette - Oct. 12, 2021, 10:45 p.m.

Wow! I made this tonight and this is so good! My husband and I both loved it. My 5-year old ate the mung bean rice with yogurt sauce, wouldn't try the tomato sauce but still...
2 minor changes: I happened to have fresh coriander so I used it instead of dill. And I forgot to soak the yellow split peas so I used green lentils instead.
Added some of the last tomatoes from the garden too.
I was hesitant to make all the components but they pair really well. And the yogurt sauce on top is perfect.
Very happy to have cooked afghan for the first time and it was such a success. I am definitely making it again soon! (This time with the split peas)

PUL Team - Oct. 13, 2021, 3:37 a.m.

Aw, Fleanette, this means so much! Thank you for sharing your experience with this one. Hugs to you and your family 🥰


Claudia - Oct. 9, 2021, 3:32 p.m.

Hello PUL Team!
It is a long weekend holiday here in Spain and I have decided to live it through in my kitchen as a Sadia-inspired- afghani cooking festivity. Saturday has turned into Shola day!!! And I LOVE the soul-nutritious feeling of this meal and was so surprised to realize that the yoghurt sauce carries it to a top-notch level. However the crushed garlic was a bit too overpowering and seemed to cover up all of the other flavours... any tips to avoid that? May be I have messed up the yoghurt-to-garlic proportion?.
On a separate note, I have saved the split chick-peas water to make a chocolate mousse... do not know if this dessert is too afghani but... chocolate... why not?

PUL Team - Oct. 9, 2021, 11:56 p.m.

Hello, Claudia, thanks for sharing the kind words! I actually shared this recipe with my mum before publishing it and she recommended increasing the garlic to 3 cloves 😅 Afghans really like their yogurt sauce super garlicky, but I knew it's something most people may not be used to so I kept it at 2 cloves. So you did it correctly, it's just meant to be super garlicky 🧄 But of course each person has a different tolerance to garlic, and raw garlic especially can be intense, so if you ever make it again, feel free to decrease it to 1 clove. We hope this helps and you enjoy your long weekend! Hugs to Spain 🤗


Arundhati - Oct. 6, 2021, 5:53 p.m.

I absolutely love this page and the recipes you guys post and I’m literally on a roll here with all of your Afghani dishes. I just made Shola and it was so amazing! I’m going to make Borani Banjan for lunch tomorrow. Absolutely can’t wait!

PUL Team - Oct. 6, 2021, 6:09 p.m.

So happy the recipes are being enjoyed, Arundhati! We hope you enjoy the Borani Banjan as well 😊


Lizzy - Sept. 29, 2021, 5:27 a.m.

We had this for dinner tonight and it was absolutely amazing! Thank you! It is a lot of food for our little family of 2. Do you have suggestions on if it will freeze well and how to freeze?

PUL Team - Sept. 29, 2021, 7:25 p.m.

Hi there, Lizzy! We haven't tested it out so we can't say with absolute certainty, although the rice and gheymeh would likely store best in an airtight container in the freezer. If you can store them separately, that'd be best. The yogurt sauce may not freeze well, so we'd suggest making it fresh before enjoying it. To reheat it, let the rice and gheymeh thaw completely, and then add it to a large pan on medium heat. Add a small splash of water (but if the rice is already looking a bit wet from thawing, no need to add the water), and then cover with a lid and let cook until warmed through.

Another idea, if you'd like to make this recipe again in the future, could be to reduce the serving size to 2 or 4 by clicking on the green "-" sign beside the serving size title if desired. We hope this helps! 🙂


Kim - Sept. 28, 2021, 7:37 a.m.

I can't believe how delicious this was!!! Thank you for sharing it with us! My only suggestion is that the instructions could have been a bit more streamlined. For example the instruction that says "then cook the rice," could be its own number three stuff then the next instruction about sauteeing onions could be number four. I kept getting confused and thinking I was supposed to add the uncooked rice to that saute mixture because they were in the same instruction. Anyways, just a small thing, but somehow made the recipe seem more complicated to me.
Thanks again, this was just amazing, and a great way to get really healthy protein in!!

PUL Team - Sept. 29, 2021, 6:39 p.m.

Hey Kim, thanks so very much for your feedback, reading it back now I can definitely see the confusion. In fact, we did mean to add the uncooked rice to the saute mixture, but the way you made it (making the rice first, then adding the cooked rice to the saute) would also be alright, and I'm happy it still ended up in a dish you enjoyed! Our sincerest apologies though for the confusion, and we've updated the directions to be more clear. Thanks again for taking the time to share, it really helps to improve what we do 🤗


Charlotte - Sept. 17, 2021, 10:54 p.m.

Hi Sadia and team! I loved this Afghan sticky rice dish on all levels. I loved the combination of the mung beans, chana dal and short grain rice as well as the tomato and dill flavours in this recipe and, most importantly, the garlic yogurt sauce to finish. I swear that stuff can make anything taste twice as good! Will definitely be returning to this again.

PUL Team - Sept. 18, 2021, 4:54 a.m.

We're so grateful to hear the recipe was enjoyed, Charlotte, thanks for the insight 😃


Janelle - Sept. 8, 2021, 3:16 p.m.

Hi! Three questions. 1. What is a good substitute for dried dill? I’m thinking that might be hard to find. 2. Can I use brown rice instead of white? 3. I’d like to use less oil than what the recipe calls for. What is your suggestion for making this with less oil or oil free?

PUL Team - Sept. 8, 2021, 9:55 p.m.

Hi there, Janelle! Thanks for the questions. 1) The dill can be omitted, some recipes don't have them at all. Or if you can get your hands on some fresh dill, that'd be alright also. Alternatively, you could experiment with parsley or cilantro if you enjoy the taste of those. We'd recommend opting for ~ 2tbsp of dried herbs other than dill to start and adding more to taste as it will change the flavour profile of the recipe. 2) You're welcome to use brown rice instead of white if desired, although, the short-grain white rice provides a delicious creaminess so the end result will be less sticky, and more firm. 3) Simply add as much oil as you're comfortable with - add splashes of water as needed to prevent anything from burning. I hope these help for now 😊

Janelle - Sept. 8, 2021, 10:09 p.m.

I have seen fresh dill available sometimes. Thanks for getting back to me! Looking forward to making it.

Janelle - Sept. 11, 2021, 10:28 p.m.

Hi again, tried this recipe today! I was able to use fresh dill as I couldn't find dried and I substituted lentils for the mung beans. Couldn't make the yogurt sauce as plant-based yogurts are rare here. Was very delicious though! Everyone went back for seconds and I plan to add this recipe to my recipe box. :) Even though I used brown rice, it was very good. One question-in step 8, it says to add 1/4 cup of water when in the ingredient list it says 2 and 1/4 cup? I just would like a little clarification on that, please. Thanks! Plan to try some more of your Afghan recipes-Salata and the cauliflower curry! Thanks for your time to put them up!

PUL Team - Sept. 12, 2021, 1:51 a.m.

Hey Janelle, aw I'm so happy to hear the recipe was enjoyed by everyone, and thanks for sharing all of your recipe substitutions - it might help others who want to try something similar 😊 As for the water, good eye! Indeed it's just a 1/4 cup of water in total (although you can always add a bit more if you prefer a more runny consistency), and we've now updated the ingredients to match. Thanks so much for pointing that out. I hope you enjoy the salata and curry as well 🤗


Joyce - Sept. 8, 2021, 4:29 a.m.

Hi, is it ok to use split mung beans instead of the mung beans? I bought the wrong type of mung bean!

PUL Team - Sept. 8, 2021, 9:40 p.m.

Hey Joyce, we haven't tested it out, but feel free to use split mung beans if desired. No need to soak the split mung beans overnight though as they'll likely get overly mushy. The cooking time will also be reduced, down to about 20 minutes in total! We hope this helps and you enjoy the recipe if you're able to give it a try ☺️


Julie Jeffries - Sept. 8, 2021, 2:47 a.m.

Absolutely delicious!! I subbed the split yellow chickpeas with regular chickpeas and the mung beans with lentils (i couldn’t find them at the store). It was pretty time consuming but totally worth it! thanks for sharing this recipe!!

PUL Team - Sept. 8, 2021, 6:01 p.m.

Mmm a delicious substitute, Julie, thanks for sharing! If you're interested, you may have some luck finding the ingredients in a local international grocery store or in the international aisle depending on where home is for you 😊

Julie Jeffries - Sept. 17, 2021, 6:31 p.m.

Ok I will do that next time i make it. Thanks!


Andrea - Sept. 1, 2021, 1:31 p.m.

Thank you for sharing such amazing recipes! I am just a little bit confused because the ingredients mention chickpeas but the directions mention lentils, just wanted to double-check what should I use for the recipe.

PUL Team - Sept. 1, 2021, 2:38 p.m.

Hey Andrea, thanks for catching that! Split chickpeas is correct 😊 We didn't use lentils for this, although you can if you prefer. It would definitely speed up the cooking time 🤓 I hope this helps, and enjoy!


Aqsa - Sept. 1, 2021, 10:49 a.m.

In Afghanistan do u have any dish name afghani pulao made of rice and meat, garnish with sweet carrots and raisins ???
If u know about afghani pulao can u plz share the authentic recipe original version..

PUL Team - Sept. 1, 2021, 11:05 a.m.

Hey Aqsa, yes that dish is called "Kabuli palaw". Hope to share the recipe for it one day 🤓