www.marissa.co National Foods from the Afghan Embassy London

National Foods from the Embassy of the I.R. of Afghanistan – London

I always love trying new recipes and incorporating them into midweek meals and party menus.  I approached the Embassy of the I.R. of Afghanistan in London and Ms Gazal Gailani responded with a traditional Afghan three course meal.

It is fascinating to read the recipes and see the thread of a pasta style starter, with a main course of rice and meat, ending with a universally loved custard like dessert. To me this shows that all national food history is intertwined.

I would love to learn more about the history behind the food and one day visit Afghanistan and taste the authentic dishes. But for now, I will enjoy recreating the recipes as midweek or party menus using the wonderful authentic recipes as a base.

I have only managed to make a version of the main and the authentic dessert from the recipes sent. I am yet to try the starter which is called Mantu, a ravioli style pasta filled with a spicy beef, topped with a yellow split pea sauce and topped with yogurt flavoured with freshly chopped coriander. They look lovely and would make an interesting canape too.

For mains the Afghans serve Qabuli/Kabuli Pulao, a flavoursome and subtly spiced lamb, golden fried onions and rice dish, topped with glazed carrots, roasted nuts and plump sultanas. I have written a recipe for a Quick Qabuli/Kabuli Pulao which is easy to make mid week with left over roasted lamb. I’m looking forward to making the authentic recipes and sharing them with you in time.

Qabuli/Kabuli Pulao

Photo courtesy of the Embassy of the I.R. of Afghanistan in London

Alongside the Qabuli/Kabuli Pulao, Borani Banjan is served, slices of aubergine are lightly fried and topped with a tomato sauce flavoured with garlic, turmeric and cayenne pepper, with a drizzle of yogurt, garlic and mint sauce.

Borani Banjan

Photo courtesy of the Embassy of the I.R. of Afghanistan in London

Firini/Ferini (Afghan Custard)

Photo courtesy of the Embassy of the I.R. of Afghanistan in London

For dessert a light eggless custard is made called Firini/Ferini (Afghan Custard). Thickening milk and sugar together and incorporating cardamon and rosewater to add a wonderful subtle perfume to the custard, the Firini/Ferini (Afghan Custard) is topped with nuts or pomegranates. It is a wonderful vegetarian dessert and using nut milk can be served to vegans too.

I hope these delicious recipes entice you to try something different from Afghanistan.

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