Monday, November 26, 2012
The other day I decided I was going to make Afghan food. 
If you have never had it, you are seriously missing out. 
Big time!
You see, I grew up in a city in Northern California that is better know as Little Kabul. It also is the same city the book Kite Runner refers to when he moves to the United States.  You can drive down the street and find restaurant after restaurant tantalizing you with delcious aromas and tender meats. Since I wasn't going be going to the Bay Area for a visit, I needed to fulfill my craving. 
So boys and girls I decided to cook it myself!!! 
I know! 
Trust me, this was huge in my house. 
I really felt like the local news should have been notified, but whatever. 
I might publish a cookbook.
I made two main dishes, intending to make a third but I got lazy busy.
Feast your eyes on this. 

Afghan Dumplings or better known as Aushuk:
Adapted from Food 52

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound scallions, washed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 package won ton wrappers
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried, ground garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint

Makes 25 dumplings
  1. In a large pan, saute the chopped onion over medium heat in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the lamb and sauté until cooked through, breaking it up like finely minced taco meat. Add the tomato sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, the paprika, coriander and black pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring regularly for 20 minutes. Set aside.
  2. While the meat is cooking, trim the root off the scallions and finely chop, using the entire onion (both white and dark green parts). A food processor is useful here. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and add the green onions, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the crushed red pepper. Turn heat to low and sauté until tender, 10 minutes. Set aside.
  3. To assemble the dumplings, fill a small bowl with water and put it at your work station. Set a won ton wrapper on your work surface and dip your finger into the water. Moisten the edges along two connecting sides of the wrapper. The water will serve as glue for the dumpling. Put about a teaspoon of sauteed green onions in the center of the wrapper. Fold the dough in half over the green onion in the shape of a triangle. Use the tip of your finger to firmly press the edges of the dough together to form a tight seal. Next, lift the two longest points of the triangle and press them together, creating a little circle over the dumpling. It will look like a fancy napkin fold. *I filled mine with the lamb mixture rather than the green onions. I also saved some lamb and sprinkled on top of the finished dumplings along with the green onions. 
  4. While you are assembling the dumplings, bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil. Add the vinegar. Once all of the dumplings are done, immerse them in the water and boil according to directions on the won ton package (about 4 minutes). *I didn't wait for the water to boil and it could have been disastrous but wasn't. Next time I will steam them. 
  5. While the dumplings are boiling ,quickly make the yogurt sauce. Stir together the yogurt with the garlic and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.
  6. Gingerly scoop the cooked dumplings out of the water with a slotted spoon, a few at a time, and arrange on a large platter. Spoon the yogurt over the dumplings and the ground meat on top of that. Sprinkle with dried mint and serve immediately.

They came out really good and were devoured within minutes. 
Yay! for me. 

The next dish I made was Afghan rice. Pretty easy and so satisfyingly good
Adapted from: Persian Recipes
Quabili Pallow (Polo)
Ingredients: 
  1. 1 medium onion - chopped 
  2. 1 cup shredded carrots 
  3. 1 cup raisins 
  4. salt / pepper 
  5. oil

Directions: Soak the rice and set aside (add some salt to the water).
 Saute the chopped onions in oil until they begin to slightly turn a golden color. Add salt/pepper, and some turmeric powder (optional).
Wash the shredded carrot and saute in oil until it is tender. Wash the raisins and saute them in oil as well until tender. Set both aside.
Boil water to cook the rice, and once the rice is ready drain the water.  Add oil to the bottom of your pot along with a bit of water and pour half the rice into the pot. Pour the broth over the rice, mix then place the carrots and raisins over the rice. Cover the pot and allow the rice steam. 

*This recipe originally called for cooking the meat with the rice. I cooked a leg of lamb on it's own and sliced the meat after it cooked over the rice.  
 Both were relatively easy to make. 
Pat on the back for me!  And needless to say my family was impressed.
This is a traditional Afghan recipe that anyone who likes raisins and carrots is sure to enjoy.
Quabili Pallow (Polo)
Quabili Pallow (Polo)
Ingredients:
3 cups rice
Lamb meat (or other meat)
1 medium onion - chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup raisins
salt / pepper
Brown food coloring (unless you are using brown rice)
oil
Directions:
Soak the rice and set aside (add some salt to the water).
Cut up the meat if needed. Saute the chopped onions in oil until they begin to slightly turn a golden color. Add the meat, salt/pepper, and some turmeric powder (optional). Add a cup of water and cover and allow it to cook. When the meat is ready make sure you keep the broth because it will be used later.
Wash the shredded carrot and saute in oil until it is tender. Wash the raisins and saute them in oil as well until tender. Set both aside.
Boil water to cook the rice, and once the rice is ready drain the water. Add some food coloring to the saved broth. Add oil to the bottom of your pot along with a bit of water and pour half the rice into the pot. Pour some of the broth over the rice and mix, then add the meat. Add the remaining rice and the rest of the broth over the rice, mix then place the carrots and raisins over the rice. Cover the pot and allow the rice steam (dam bekeshad).


Read more: http://www.persian-recipes.com/persianrecipes/category/afghan-recipes/#ixzz2DIqU2xFL
This is a traditional Afghan recipe that anyone who likes raisins and carrots is sure to enjoy.
Quabili Pallow (Polo)
Quabili Pallow (Polo)
Ingredients:
3 cups rice
Lamb meat (or other meat)
1 medium onion - chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup raisins
salt / pepper
Brown food coloring (unless you are using brown rice)
oil
Directions:
Soak the rice and set aside (add some salt to the water).
Cut up the meat if needed. Saute the chopped onions in oil until they begin to slightly turn a golden color. Add the meat, salt/pepper, and some turmeric powder (optional). Add a cup of water and cover and allow it to cook. When the meat is ready make sure you keep the broth because it will be used later.
Wash the shredded carrot and saute in oil until it is tender. Wash the raisins and saute them in oil as well until tender. Set both aside.
Boil water to cook the rice, and once the rice is ready drain the water. Add some food coloring to the saved broth. Add oil to the bottom of your pot along with a bit of water and pour half the rice into the pot. Pour some of the broth over the rice and mix, then add the meat. Add the remaining rice and the rest of the broth over the rice, mix then place the carrots and raisins over the rice. Cover the pot and allow the rice steam (dam bekeshad).


Read more: http://www.persian-recipes.com/persianrecipes/category/afghan-recipes/#ixzz2DIqU2xFL

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Fashion, Faith, Food. Sarcasm too. Mama to 3. Currently living in Kuala Lumpur.

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