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
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 is a sweet custard seasoned with cardamom, rose water and dusted with finely ground pistachios.
Many Afghans enjoy the sweet taste of apricots after dessert.
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.