1/11/2022 - Country #5 - Afghanistan

Updated: Apr 18

This past Tuesday took me east - specifically, to the Middle East's Afghanistan. Full of a variety of textures, a contrast between savory and sweet, and lots of carbs - it's my favorite meal yet.

The main dish of this meal was cooked in a cast iron skillet - I'm still a Southern girl at heart. The spices of turmeric and cardamom in this meal have become as familiar to me these past two weeks as my skillet has been for years. These are spices that enhance the flavors of many a family's meal across the globe.

During my initial research for Afghani food for this project, I looked at Afghan Food: 12 Traditional Dishes of Afghanistan | Travel Food Atlas and 14 Traditional Afghan Foods Everyone Should Try - Medmunch. I went and made Kabuli Pulao Recipe: Afghan Rice With Lamb, Carrots, and Raisins - Delishably (rice topped with browned lamb, carrots, and raisins), Lavash Flatbread Recipe (thespruceeats.com) (bread/your utensil), and Gosh-e-Feel: Baby Elephant Ears- Fried Pastry in the Afghan Manner — Silk Route food memoir by Shayma Saadat – The Spice Spoon (fried dough for dessert, baby!)

The lavash I made was easily the easiest thing I've made thus far. Make a dough (don't even knead it! I LOVE IT!), let it sit, roll it out, oil it up, bake it. DONE. (Also, notice Juliet's cameo. She likes hanging out with me when I'm home. She's a good buddy.) Also, I made the dough for the gosh-e-feel to let it sit. There were a lot of timers going on to coordinate this well.

The kabuli pulao started with onions and garlic cooking in butter.

Ngl, this is one of my favorite things in life.

Also, I learned that lamb shoulder takes a lot of butchering to get it into bite-size pieces. This is my first time cooking lamb - I'm having fun using all these ingredients I've never used before :D

The lamb was cooked off, then the carrots and the raisins individually. There were a lot of pots going at one point.

The lavash was put in the oven.

The gosh-e-feel was shaped like elephant ears (totally appetizing, right? Yeah, it is FUN, dang it!)

I think they're kinda adorable :)

This was the first time I actually baked something at 500 degrees F, but the rice baked in the cast iron skillet for twenty minutes. It was topped with this mixture of browned lamb and onions, then encircled with sauteed carrots and sprinkled with these pops of fried golden raisins (the recipe called for regular ol' raisins. I didn't have another of those. I improvised).

This was my favorite meal yet. The lamb was salty, savory, succulent, tad bit chewy; the rice was spiced and homey. The carrots were a little crisp and the raisins were bright, and they brought a natural sweetness to play against the rich savory flavors of the lamb and rice. I used the lavash as my utensil - no forks or spoons! It was sooo crunchy and was great for scooping the rice. The gosh-e-feel, topped with a mixture of powdered sugar, pistachios, and cardamom, was very addicting. The fried dough had barely any sugar in it, so the primary sweetness came from the topping. I've become a very big fan of cardamom - it's so floral and sweety, but not spicy like other spices you see in desserts.


Country: Afghanistan

Day made: 1/11/2022, Tuesday

Post made: 1/13/2022, Thursday

Would I make it again? 9.5/10, will DEF make again (it was just...so good, y'all...)

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