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Introduction to Afghan Cuisine

An introduction to traditional Afghan food and Afghan cuisine. Traditional Afghan food has influences from India, Persia (Iran), Mongolia, and Afghanistan. Foods are often flavored with spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, saffron, coriander, parsley, dill, mint, and chili.

Afghan Appetizers and Snacks

turnovers filled with scallions, cilantro and potato, with a garlic-yogurt dip

Jan-i Amma
Yogurt and minced cucumber dip that usually flavored with onions and mint.

Eggplant dip that often also includes yogurt, soup cream, garlic, mint, cilantro, olive oil, and lemon juice.

Steamed ravioli-like pasta dish. that is usually stuffed with a beef and onion mixture and sometimes topped with a spiced vegetable.

Afghan Soups

Traditional Afghan soup often made with some of all of the following ingredients: kidney beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), noodles, yogurt, dill, turmeric, and mint.

Afghan Salads

Mosto Khair
Cucumber, onion, and yogurt salad flavored with mint.

Panir Sabzee
Leaves of fresh herbs such as mint, basil, and watercress served with green onions, radishes, and feta cheese. Can also be served as an appetizer.

Shirazee Salad
Salad made with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and lemon. Usually also includes mint or parsley. Sometimes simply called "Salata". In some recipes the cucumbers and tamotoes are sliced or served in wedges and in some recipes they are cubed into smaller pieces, to make more of a coarsely chopped salad.

Shor Nakhod
Salad made with garbanzo beans (chickpeas), sometimes kidney beans, and flavored with cilantro, lemon, and vinegar.

Afghan Breads

Afghan Flat Bread
Thin, soft, flatbread similar to lavash.

Afghan Entrees

Grill chicken kebobs, usually served on a bed of rice.

Qabili Pilau
Rice pilaf made with chunks of lamb, julienned carrots, and raisins. Often served as a dome of pilaf topped with cooked raisins and cooked slivered carrots.

Qorma-i Sabzi
Spinach stew flavored with cilantro, parsley, and green onions that is sometimes topped with lamb stew.

Pasta dish available with or without beef. Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy from Afghanistan via Afghanistan 700 years ago!)

Badenjan Borani
Eggplant stew made with tomato sauce. Often served with a garlic yogurt sauce and topped with ground beef flavored with coriander, turmeric, and cayenne pepper.

Kufta Kebab
Grilled ground meat.

Afghan Vegetables

Vegetable stew made with whole okra, potatoes, and tomatoes.

Bonjon (aka Bonjorn)
Vegetable stew made with eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes.

Kadu Bouranee
Pumpkin sauteed with spices and usually topped sour cream and mint. Usually eaten with bread or rice.

Afghan Desserts

Custard-style pudding made without eggs that is usually flavored with cardamom and rosewater and topped with crushed pistachio nuts.

See also:
Recipes for Afghan Food
Dining in Afghanistan
Afghanistan Travel Guide

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