Afghanistan: Meal Review

On Saturday evening, January 4, we began our journey around the world!  We used every surface of our kitchen and more kitchen gadgets, appliances, and stovetop burners than we have ever used for a single meal!  We had all four burners going at the same time, and we used the food processor, mandolin, mortar & pestle, chef’s knife, and much more.  We also used two new ingredients: saffron and rosewater.

Kabuli Pulao


I was surprised at the richness of flavor in this dish, considering the only spices it used were cumin and saffron.  Basmati rice was new to me, and I suspect it contributed to the flavor.  I would like to say that the saffron made the dish, but truthfully, I couldn’t pick it out as a unique flavor.  I think it would be easier to notice if I was more accustomed to eating this type of food, but there were too many other new flavors to distinguish it.

This recipe made a lot of food–I would scale the recipe in half next time, unless cooking for a large group of people.



I already knew I liked naan, so it was no surprise that this was a success.  I really enjoyed the process of frying these and seeing how poofy and bubbly they were.  I would definitely make these again, and I will be very tempted to repeat this recipe next time we are in this part of the world!

Halwa e Zardak


To quote Tyler, this was “lovely!  Just lovely!”  I was very skeptical of this dish and did not expect to like it.  My first reaction was that it was a nice light, slightly floral, flavor.  My second reaction was that it was sickeningly sweet!  All of the sugar, butter, and cream made for a VERY rich dessert.  A few bites was more than enough for me, although Tyler thought it was delicious.  Like the Kabuli Pulao, this recipe made a lot–we could have made half or even a fourth of it and been ok.

Being avid tea fans ourselves, we were excited to read that tea is one of the most common drinks in Afghanistan.  We made a pot of Assam, which complimented the meal very nicely!

Although it is traditional in Afghanistan to eat the meal out of a communal dish using your right hand, we decided to break from tradition and eat individual portions with a fork and knife.

Afghanistan_meal  Afghanistan_dessert


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