A huge number of traditions of neighboring regions are collected in Afghan cuisine. But the national one has its own characteristics and distinctive features. In most cases, women are engaged in cooking, although the male gender does not bypass him.
General characteristics of the national Afghan cuisine
The most common ingredients in this region are rice, various vegetables, herbs and herbs. And the most honorable place is occupied by all kinds of meat, with the exception of pork. But the Afghan cuisine does not end there. Tea drinking is respected, and they devote most of their lives.
Afghanistan is an eastern country that professes Islam and observes all the traditions of this faith.
The Muslim people are distinguished by their extraordinary hospitality. This is his main difference from other nationalities.
This is how people try to express their kindness and love to others. The female sex loves to surprise guests with her culinary skills.
The history of development
Afghan culture has evolved over the centuries, and traditional cuisine plays one of the main roles in the life of this people. India and the countries of Central Asia had a great influence on the variety of the menu, but this did not stop the Afghans from surpassing their neighbors.
Many dishes are passed down from generation to generation, from the elders to the youngest. New delicacies appear every day.
Nuances of cooking
This is a long and responsible process, on which housewives spend most of their time. Sometimes the preparation of one dish by local chefs takes up to several days.
Food is baked in clay and wood sands, cooked over an open fire and coals. The presence of a tandoor is considered a luxury. It is customary to fry products in a pan with the addition of fat tail fat or ghee. All these nuances give a special taste and personality to Afghan cuisine.
Due to the geographical location and climatic conditions, nature is harsh to this country. Savvy and hardworking Afghans are renowned for their livestock and crop production.
Local residents grow cereals on their land plots – barley, corn, wheat and mung bean (legumes), using them for cooking. Wheat lavash, which is called chapati, is distinguished by its unique taste.
In the national cuisine, much attention is paid to rice. Many types of pilaf are cooked from it. The most popular of these is kabuli-pilau, which is prepared daily.
And for a festive feast, pilau-e shahi is served, the locals call it royal. Rice is also used as a side dish for meat and vegetable dishes.
Desserts for Afghans do not do without cereals. Among them can be distinguished rice pudding, which is called shola.
Fruits and vegetables
Outside the region, Afghanistan is popular for its juicy melons and watermelons, mouth-watering grapes and rich pomegranates, cherries, apples, pears, quince and mulberry.
Despite scant rainfall, Afghanistan has a wide variety of vegetables: zucchini, tomatoes, beans, etc. On the tables, you often find a sauce made from boiled vegetables and fruits – chutney.
Carrots, eggplants and lemons are used for pickling. Nuts and dried fruits have found a place in baked goods, desserts, and even pilaf.
Meat and fish
When preparing traditional dishes, meat is not bypassed: beef, lamb, goat meat, horse meat, chicken and game (quail, ducks, partridges and even pigeons).
Special attention is paid to buffalo and camel meat. Meat is used in all forms: boiled, stewed, fried and cooked over an open fire.
Despite the abundance of rivers rich in carp, catfish and trout, fish is virtually nonexistent in Afghan cuisine. Only river shir-mahi stewed in milk is very famous. Seafood is completely excluded from the menu.
Milk is obtained from cows, goats and even buffaloes. It is not consumed in its raw form, but the oriental inhabitants found it used in fermented milk products (kaymak, kurt, yogurt) and meat dishes. The most common milk drink is yogurt with mint – mastiff.
Afghan dishes lack the pungency of taste, therefore, culinary specialists treat spices in a special way. The diet uses such spices and herbs as garam masala, cumin, saffron, anise, poppy seeds.
They are one of the main values Afghans are trying to preserve.
Not a single feast of the Afghan people is complete without it. Most often, bread is baked in a tandoor. Fragrant cakes are combined with the first, second courses and with tea. Of these, Bolani and Naan can be noted.
This is an important part of the meal. The soup looks like a rich broth with a separate piece of meat, which differs from the usual only rich shurpa with a lot of ingredients. Bean soup with yoghurt is individual – mushava. Mint and coriander are an integral part of the first courses.
Among the main ones, it is worth highlighting rice-corn porridge with sauce and herbs – kitingri.
The main dishes on the table are meat dishes and side dishes:
- Kish-kebab – pieces of meat, bacon and vegetables cooked on a skewer over an open fire.
- Shami-kebab – minced meat with the addition of eggs and vegetable puree.
- Tas-kebab – beef fried in boiling oil and then boiled in wine.
- Lamb chops with spices.
Afghans also love lamb skewers fried on a spit.
Salads and snacks
They are present on every table of Afghans and are served with any dish. Vegetables chopped for salad are seasoned with lemon and mint.
Various sweets round off the meal. A simple candy is eaten with tea – nabot, firgi (a product made from rice flour and milk) and baklava (a flour product with the addition of honey and nuts).
It is customary to start breakfast with tea. They drink a lot of tea outside the house. And dried fruit compote is found only on significant dates. Soda water is considered a luxury. Afghans have a negative attitude towards alcohol.
Interesting recipes for cooking at home
Each of the wide variety of Afghan dishes will be able to find their own.
This is a soup that is prepared in a cauldron.
- lamb – 1 kg (you can add pulp and ribs);
- potatoes – 4 pcs.;
- carrots – 2 pcs.;
- tomatoes – 3 pcs.;
- garlic – 5 cloves;
- onions – 4 pcs.;
- cilantro, coriander, black pepper and salt to taste.
The dish is prepared like this:
- Peel and finely chop the garlic and onions.
- Fry the resulting components in a pan until golden brown.
- Divide the ribs one at a time and cut the flesh into cubes.
- Fry the lamb in a cauldron with a little oil until golden brown.
- Add unpeeled tomatoes, fried onions and garlic, chopped into cubes, into the cauldron.
- Simmer the dish until the onion is completely dissolved.
- Pour the resulting mixture with water and cook over low heat for an hour.
- Put the carrots cut into strips and diced potatoes into the broth.
- After 20 minutes, add the remaining ingredients.
- Let the soup steep for 30 minutes.
- Chopped herbs can be added to add flavor and aroma.
The soup is ready.
This is an exotic stuffed tortilla. To prepare it, you do not need to have special culinary skills and spend a lot of effort. It is stuffed with various ingredients: leek, garlic, lentils, pumpkin, eggplant and minced meat. Bolani with potatoes, onions and cilantro gained fame in Afghan cuisine.
- flour – 2 tbsp .;
- water – 1 tbsp .;
- potatoes – 1 pc. (it must be large);
- ground black pepper – 0.5 tsp;
- salt – 1.5 tsp;
- green onions and fresh cilantro to taste;
- some oil.
The preparation of the dish takes place in 2 stages: preparation of the dough and the filling.
Sequence of steps:
- Sift flour well, add salt and pour water over everything. The water should be at room temperature or cold.
- Add some oil at your discretion.
- Mix everything until smooth. The dough should be elastic and firm.
- Let it brew and rise for an hour under a film at room temperature.
The next step will be making the filling:
- Peel and boil potatoes in salted water.
- Let it cool slightly, then mash the tubers.
- Add a small amount of olive oil to this mass, if desired, salt and black pepper – to taste.
- Finely chop cilantro and green onion feathers and mix with mashed potatoes.
The filling is ready.
The preparation of the bolan is completed by stuffing the dough with the filling:
- Divide the dough into equal parts (you should get 4 medium-sized pieces).
- Roll it into round balls of equal thickness.
- Place the filling in the middle of each tortilla and pinch the edges well so that they do not stick out during cooking, resulting in a crescent shape.
- Place the bolani in a well-heated skillet and cook over medium heat for a few minutes.
- Fry on both sides until golden brown and brown.
To remove excess oil from ready-made cakes, place them on paper towels. At the same time, they will cool down a little. Bolani are served hot with Afghan yoghurt sauce.
Afghani Yogurt Sauce
It is the best product for maintaining a healthy diet. It turns out to be high in calories and does not contain harmful additives. It is used not only with pain, but also with salads (as a dressing).
- natural yogurt – 1 tbsp.;
- garlic – 1 clove;
- water – 1 tbsp. l .;
- dill, salt and ground coriander to taste.
Add chopped garlic, dill, salt and coriander to natural yogurt to taste. You can use parsley, fresh cucumber, lemon juice. Mix well and pour over a glass of water.
Natural yoghurt sauce.
Serving features: traditions
Afghans teach their children about traditions from birth.
All feasts are held on the floor. Instead of chairs, people use high mattresses covered with beautiful velvet fabrics. And the table is replaced by a tablecloth spread between the mattresses – dastarkhan.
They do not provide separate dishes for each guest in Afghanistan, so they eat by hand here. It is believed that eating food in this way improves its taste. It is customary to take food only with your right hand or help yourself with lavash and flat bread.
Afghans rarely eat outside of their homes. This only happens at various events. In such an institution as a teahouse, men have to meet in order to resolve important issues and problems. Conversations take place in a quiet and homely atmosphere, either during tea drinking or at a laid table.
Afghans during a meal always pay attention to the person, how he behaves, how he speaks.
To make a good impression on the indigenous people, the guest must respect the elders, speak calmly and quietly, eat beautifully and with appetite. Failure to follow these manners can cause discontent on the part of the owners.
The visitor should try the maximum number of dishes that the hostess has prepared for him. So he will show respect for the owners and for the house in which he is. No one gets away from the table hungry.