Aush (Afghani Chili)


Aush is a delicious and exotic alternative to American-style chili. It's not too spicy but combines intriguing flavors. I adapted this recipe from a traditional Afghani family favorite. It may be cooked in a slow cooker, Dutch oven, or soup pot. Try it also with ground lamb or ground turkey.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 25 mins


  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 ½ tablespoons dried mint

  • 2 tablespoons garam masala

  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained

  • 1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

  • 1 (16 ounce) package fettuccine, broken in half

  • 1 cup sour cream


  1. Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium heat; remove beef with a slotted spoon to a large pot, reserving drippings in the skillet. Cook and stir onion in reserved drippings until golden brown; remove with a slotted spoon and add to beef in the pot. Stir tomatoes with juice, garlic, red pepper, cumin, chili powder, mint, garam masala, garbanzo beans, and spinach into beef mixture; simmer over low heat for 3 to 6 hours.

  2. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat; stir in fettuccini and return to a boil. Cook pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well; stir pasta into the chili along with sour cream. Serve hot.

Cook's Notes:

Aush is traditionally a noodle dish, but feel free to substitute cooked rice. You can also use a package of cooked small or medium egg noodles instead of fettuccini.

The dish may be frozen before noodles or rice are added.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

613 Calories
21g Fat
79g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 613
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 64mg 21%
Sodium 467mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 79g 29%
Dietary Fiber 9g 31%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 19mg 95%
Calcium 229mg 18%
Iron 10mg 54%
Potassium 870mg 19%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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