Foodie Friday: (Really) Authentic Afghanistan Cuisine

If you’re a regular reader of mine, then you probably know that my sister is a civilian lawyer working in Afghanistan. I cherish all the stories and pictures she shares with me about the Afghan culture and way of life. Since my sister moved there nearly one year ago, she has undoubtedly lived a challenging life, a life that is vastly different from what most of us will ever know. But there are perks, too. And one of them is, without question, the local Afghan cuisine.

Just today, my sister sent me a batch of pictures about a recent excursion involving a sheep slaughtering. She spared me the photos of that aspect, but she did send me photos of locals preparing what is probably the most popular dish in Afghanistan – kebabs and kofta kebabs (ground meat). Needless to say, the kebabs were prepared from the freshly slaughtered lamb.

Once the kebabs have been grilled and prepared to perfection, they are then wrapped in Naan bread. Naan bread is popular in Afghan cuisine, but also Indian, Persian, and Pakistani cuisine.  Haven’t tried Naan bread? It’s not nearly as good as fresh homemade Naan, but stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods carry it. Another Afghan staple is rice and most dishes are prepared with a side of it. The many different variations of Afghan-prepared rice is considered the most important part of any meal and the wealthier you are, the more rice you eat.

When people think of Afghan crops, the controversy of poppies often come to mind. However, many of the Afghan regions are known for producing high-quality nuts and fruits, both of which are Afghan dietary staples. My sister sent me pictures of almond trees in full bloom recently which, as you can see in, are absolutely stunning.

Most American cities don’t have Afghan cuisine, but you can certainly attempt to cook it yourself! I have had the good fortune of eating authentic Afghan food and I can vouch that it is truly delectable. However, I have yet to cook it on my own. I plan to change that soon enough. The next time my sister visits me in California, I plan on preparing a large Afghan feast in her honor. But, knowing her, she’ll probably prefer a burger from In & Out instead.

If you’re interested in cooking Afghan food, check out this website, Afghan Cooking Unveiled. The recipes look fairly easy and the food looks absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to try out their recipes.