Menu: Afghanistan

Ava and Mr. Picky enjoying their first taste of the adventure with Afghanistan

Ava and Mr. Picky enjoying their first taste of the adventure with Afghanistan

After hours going through my cookbook collection, browsing through library shelves, and surfing online, I can honestly say that I am ready to eat some Afghan food! I put together a menu for this weekend, but not without some heartache (I had a tough time eliminating potential dishes – everything sounded so good!). Here’s what I came up with:

Sabse Borani [Recipe]
Traditional Afghan spinach-yogurt dip

Burani Bonjon [Recipe]
Spicy Braised Eggplant in a Garlic Mint Sauce (Garlic Mint Sauce recipe)

Kabeli Palau [Recipe]
Twice-cooked Basmati Rice with Chicken and Carrots. This traditional party dish is seasoned with graham masala and saffron.

Noni Afghani [Recipe]
Noni Afghani is a flatbread similar to Naan. Noni is used to scoop up food in the place of silverware.

Firnee [Recipe]
Firnee is a sweet custard seasoned with cardamom, rose water and dusted with finely ground pistachios.

Dried Apricots
Many Afghans enjoy the sweet taste of apricots after dessert.

Connecting Cuisines

You will notice several similarities between Afghan and Indian cuisines. This regional influence is just one of many. In Afghanistan, Enchantment of the World Terry Willis remarks:

The flavors of several different cultures come together in Afghan cuisine. India has influenced the spices used in Afghan food. The Persian tradition of slow cooking meat, especially lamb and chicken, along with spinach and mint, shows up frequently on Afghan tables. Afghans also adopted noodles from Mongolian cooking.

Wait… didn’t everyone adopt their noodles from Mongolia and northern China? Click here for an article about noodle history by National Geographic.


  1. Grammie Sue aka Mom aka susan says

    The Firnee sounds enchanting…rose water and finely ground pistachios…!!! No vanilla?.

    The saffron and graham masala …I can’t imagine how delicate the balance will need to be so as to allow both flavors to come through. Perhaps season a tiny portion at a time to get it right…..???!!!

    You are really challenging yourself, mama….


  2. Grammie Sue aka Mom aka susan says

    GRANDPA LOVED DRIED APRICOTS…One Christmas Karen sent a round box of them from a California Williams-Sonoma, and he would only eat one per day to make them last longer.

  3. Michelle says

    I looked up Afghan food myslef just to see what’s out there. Looks like cardamom , rose water, and saffron are used a LOT! I’m so curious to find out what it all tasts like!

  4. Wow… I am from June BBC board. Good job!!!! Most of the dishes are like Indian.

  5. What a wonderful post, and so much ‘connect’ to Indian cuisine. Am off to look at each recipe in depth. Each dish speaks a 1000 words, and your pictures are awesome.
    4 thousand year old noodles…whoa!!

  6. Ashley says

    Just made this whole meal (minus the nuts) for my family. My 3 year old and 10 month old loved it! My 2 year old is super picky and has texture issues, but he tried quite a bit of it even using his hands! And my husband and I are excited for leftovers. More tomorrow!

  7. BaldChick says

    I am making this menu for friends this weekend. Planning to make: spinach dip, yogurt sauce, and cardamom custard the day before; eggplant the morning of dinner; noni dough in the afternoon; and cook noni while kabeli palau is baking. any comments or suggestions are welcome, if you’ve done this menu. Four for dinner this Saturday at 6pm.
    What did you serve for drink? wine?

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