This article discusses about the Afghan Cuisine. Check this article, to know more about the food preparations and the main ingredients that could be included in our choice of foods. The chief crops of Afghanistan were wheat, maize, barley and rice. Also the main liquid sources were through milk. Thus the food preparations that came into being were derived using the above ingredients. Milk was made use of to have Yoghurt, whey. Fruits and vegetables were produced in abundance and thus the most popular preparations of Afghan cuisine had the above in them, as a mandate. To name a few, Kabuli Palaw, Seekh Kabab, Tandoori chicken, Mantu are popular preparations of Afghan cuisine. Some of the other popular items from Afghanistan and thus in Afghan cuisine are Pomegranate, grapes and Melons, which are the size of a Football and are very sweet to taste.
Breads in Afghan Cuisine
In this paragraph, we will discuss about the main types of breads being prepared in Afghan cuisine.
Naan is a oval/round shaped bread which is made of white flour or even whole wheat and has various toppings. Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sometimes multigrain spreads are used on the Naan.
Obi Non is another type of bread which is derived from the Uzbek style of cooking wheat.
These Obi Non are thicker than Naan and are made with White flour.
The Chapati, also known as Sapati or Dodi, are thinner and more flat than Naan and are more popular in the Pashtun tribal areas of Afghanistan area.
These are probably the thinnest of the breads and are served along with meat and stews.
The above breads are served with:
Torshi is a mixture of pickled fruits, vegetables which are mixed with spices and vinegar.
Chutneys are sauces, again made using vinegar, fresh cilantro, chilli peppers and blended in tomato, usually in paste form.
Rice preparations in Afghan cuisine
Rice was the most important part of Afghan cuisine and Afghan cuisine has numerous preparations of rice. These are again with multiple types of rice from white rice, brown, black rice and rice of different variants were grown in the Afghan region.
Some of the popular preparations are mentioned below:
The Challow preparation of rice makes use of white rice. The rice is parboiled, drained, then baked with oil, butter and salt in the oven. This preparation typically looks fluffy, each rice grain separated from the other. Such preparations are served with stews, curries and kormas.
Palaw is prepared using the same method as for Challow, but meat and stock is added before the baking process. This meat and stick gives different colours to the rice. They also get different flavours and aromas from which they get their names.
Sometimes, caramelized sugar is added to give the rich taste to the rice.
The different types of Palaw are:
It has meat and stock and topped up with raisins, carrots and pistachios, Kabuli Palaw is the national dish in Afghan cuisine and Afghanistan.
Meat and stock. Has a brown colour.
Zamarod is another name for green emerald. In this preparation, spinach kurma is added before the baking process.
Lawand Kurma is added. This gets a Yellow colour.
Tomato puree is added to the rice before the baking process, It gets a red colour.
This preparation is Takhni Palaw with Vinegar and spices added.
In this preparation, fresh dill, raisins are added.
This preparation is a sweet preparation with saffron, orange peel, pisachio, almonds and chicken.
This preparation is for vegetarian people, or for people who like vegetarian preparations. This contains mung beans, apricots and wheat. This Palaw has sweet and sour taste.
Alow Balou Palaw
This Palaw is another sweet preparation. Cherries and chicken go into the dish before the baking process.
Korma are stews which are cooked slowly in the oven and are made into a gravy. The gravy can be very thick to pasty consistency. Onion is the main ingredient for Korma. Due to the rich sources of food items, more than 100 kormas are available in Afghan cuisine. Some of the popular kormas are given below:
Korma Alou-Bokhara wa Dalnakhod
This korma has onion base wiht plums, lentils, cardamom as spice and chicken from animal proteins.
Onion based with lotus roots, cilantro, lamb and coriander
Onion based with yogurt, turmeric, cilantro and either with chicken, lamb or beef.
Korma with spinach and other green vegetables with lamb.
Again onion based with sugar, turnips, sugar with lamb.
This is not the Italian Pasta! But known as Khameerbob and takes the shape of dumplings. They need a lot of time to be prepared and thus are now a rarity. There are two forms of Pasta in Afghan cuisine: Mantu and Ashak.
Dumplings with onion with ground beef or lamb in it. It is topped with tomato based sauce and yoghurt or Qoroot based sauce. Mantu are dressed with dried mint and coriander.
These are specially from Kabul They are filled with chives, topped by garlic, mint qoroot, garlic yogurt sauce, sauted tomatoes, kidney beans with meat mixture.
Pasta, when served in noodles form, are known as Aush and are served along with a soup.
Kebabs are native to Afghan preparations and are usually served with Naan or rice. These are soft meat which is fried and made into a patty.
Kebabs are also made from chops, ribs, ground lamb or beef or chicken.
Chapli kebab is a Pashto variant of the kebab which is a mixture of meat with flour and are lig
hter to taste, less expensive.
Qoroot are prepared from dairy which is being reconstituted. The residue that remains after preparing butter (known as beri in Indian languages). This is not kept at room temperature for a few days, treated with salt and shaped into balls. It has a very sour taste and hard in consistency. It can be eaten directly and is served with cooked dishes like Ashak and Mantu.
These and many other preparations make the Afghan cuisine and are very popular in the world.