Chalau Recipe -
Chalau Recipe
  • READY IN hrs


Recipe by  

"This is a traditional Afghan stew recipe made with lamb, and seasoned with cumin and cilantro. Lean beef stew meat may be substituted for the lamb."

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    2 hrs

    2 hrs 30 mins


  1. Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, and fry gently until transparent. Increase heat to medium, and add garlic and stew meat. Cook, stirring frequently, until meat is browned on the outside. Pour in the water, and season with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and cumin. Bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low. Cover the pan, and continue cooking for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rice, and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add 6 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook loosely covered for about 30 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  3. Add spinach and cilantro to the meat mixture, and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Mound the rice on a platter, and spoon some of the lamb stew over. Put remaining stew in a separate serving bowl.
Kitchen-Friendly View

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 20, 2004

This was excellent. I did follow some other reviewer suggestions, though: I used much less oil - not quite a 1/4 of a cup, I coated the beef in seasoned (cumin, pepper, cayenne pepper) flour, and I added a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes. As with most sauces/stews, it's even better the next day. Works well with the Indian Basmati Rice on this site, and would probably be good over noodles as well.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jun 27, 2007

We found this bland and boring, and I used LOTS of cayenne,


32 Ratings

Apr 03, 2008

I'm giving this only 4 stars because I used the recipe only as a base, adding variations suggested by other reviewers. I used leftover grilled lamb kebabs from Easter, which were already well spiced with cumin and coriander. To that base I added canned tomato and chickpeas, as suggested by others, plus the rest of the recipe ingredients. It made a great stew that was wonderful over the basmati rice and was not too spicy for the kids (I added harisa to mine to pump up the heat!). Thanks for a good recipe and thanks to the other reviewers for making it great!

Mar 14, 2004

Excellent - I made a couple of small adjustments. I am trying to cut down on oil, so I used just a short pour of oil(worked fine, you don't need it to cook the onions and the fat from the meat is more than plenty to add the richness) I dredged the meat in flour before browning it to give it a bit more caramelizing (and because it helps the meat to hold it's juice, it is every bit as tender). I added Chick Peas. I added a bit of the chickpea liquid as I went on because the sauce was getting a bit cooked down, and it helped both with making more of a sauce, but also the starch thickened it nicely. I think both the Cilantro and Spinach could be substitutes with any non-sweet leafy green - I like the bitter green in things like this, but I am sure others prefer the less assertive spinach.

Nov 22, 2005

Good flavors but it came out too watery...I recommend to cut down on the water just a little bit.

Jun 23, 2005

First off, to anyone who might be turned off by all of the oil called for in this recipe, it is DEFINITELY not necessary. I used about 2 tbsps for the stew and another 2 tbsps for the rice and it came out DELICIOUS! I love this dish! Lamb, spinach, cilantro? How can you go wrong? Five stars! Six, if I could because it's also low in fat (if you cut out all the oil which, like I said, isn't necessary).

Mar 18, 2012

This was a huge hit! Followed recipe only doubled the spices. I cooked the lamb mix the night before then next morning put in a crock pot to simmer the day away. Added the spinach and cilantro about half an hour before serving...AMAZING!!

Aug 12, 2009

I thought this was fantastic! Made it with full oil too. Great as is, but may try the tomatoes and even potatoes as suggested in other comments for a different taste. Also, might want to pump up the cayenne as it wasn't very spicy dish at all.


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 740 kcal
  • 37%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 77 g
  • 25%
  • Cholesterol
  • 74 mg
  • 25%
  • Fat
  • 34.6 g
  • 53%
  • Fiber
  • 1.5 g
  • 6%
  • Protein
  • 30.9 g
  • 62%
  • Sodium
  • 88 mg
  • 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More
Go Pro!

In Season

It’s Ghouls’ Night Out
It’s Ghouls’ Night Out

Get cute n’ creepy recipes to feed all your little monsters.

Allrecipes Cooking School
Allrecipes Cooking School

It’s everything you need to cook your best. Learn more about Allrecipes Cooking School.

Football Food for the Win
Football Food for the Win

All the game-day eats you need to crush the tailgate competition.

Related Videos

Lamb Meatballs in Spicy Eggplant Tomato Sauce

See how to make mini lamb balls in a spicy tomato and eggplant sauce.

Okinawa Shoyu Pork

What's cooking in Colorado Springs? The best kind of Asian comfort food.

Chicken Biryani

Watch how to make this top-rated Indian dish.

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States