Afghanistan was my first stop on my quest to explore international cuisine. I was very excited to start by cooking Afghan food because I have always been fascinated by Afghanistan and its people. Situated between the Middle East and South Asia, Afghanistan seemed to be a little bit of both and I discovered that the same can be said about its food.
As I was planning to have several people over for dinner, I planned to make a Dastarkhan, an enourmous meal that Afghans make for special occations. It consists of several main and side dishes (seemingly any you want, though it should include at least one Pilau - or rice dish), and small dishes containing fruits, nuts and vegetables. For my Dastarkhan I settled on a menu of:
Small potato & meat turnovers not too unlike Indian samosas served with:
- Yogurt sauce
- Murgh Kebabs
Chicken kebabs with a tandori-like marinate but cooked on the grill
- Beef Kebabs
- Qaubili Pilau
A delicious lamb & rice dish with caramelized carrots and raisins; and
An Afghani custard I didn't much care for.
The food was served with Afghan nan bread. This I didn't bake myself but bought at a local Middle Eastern store. I love Indian nan, but I didn't much care for Afghan nan. It seemed pretty insipid. The rest of the food, however, was very good and I would whole-heartedly recommend this Afghan feast to anyone.
Afghani Food Links