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The comfort and joy of cooking Afghan food

Afghanistan is as surrounded by Hollywood and the media as the war on the ground.The metaphor is disgustingly well-known: the visuals of a mocking man’s newsroom with a rifle on a moving truck, a movie with muddy stuff. Yellow filter Photos not yet recovered from Steve McCurry’s photos to signal a change in locale Essentialist gaze,like him There’s a problem Portrait of an Afghan girl. Food does not make a blow to participate in the conversation.

Humaira Gilzai I accept. The San Francisco-based Ghilji tribe is an Afghan cultural adviser who helped writer Kared Hosseini adapt the best-selling book “A Thousand Times for You” to the stage.She documents Ancestor tradition recipe From Afghanistan as part of her cultural literacy activities.

“Unfortunately, Afghanistan has been involved in war for over 40 years, so few people think of it in terms of food,” she told the HuffPost. “Similarly, this is what someone told me:’Do you know what those barbarians eat? Who cares about Afghan food?

When asked about food, Ghilji points out important regional changes, such as the influence of the northern Uzbeks, where food tends to be dough-based. “That is, the noodle soup aush, the dumplings aush, and Many Rakshak, a type of slippery pasta. Many foods are meat-based, as opposed to my hometown of Ghazni. She mentions the unmistakable Persian influence in the region bordering Iran. This is most often seen in “a dish called Kuku, which is very well known in Herat”. I hadn’t heard it until a few years ago. ” Kuku It is a plump Harvey Frittata. Afghans season with turmeric and stuff with leeks and leeks.

But what Gilzai loves most is childhood food. In particular, shornakhod secretly bought a street seller without her parents knowing.

“It’s basically a dish of chickpeas and potatoes. In America we call it Afghan potato salad, but it’s more chickpeas than potatoes. In Afghanistan, they pour a little vinegar on top. Really, For real delicious. “She remembers the kebab house,” our fast food restaurant, “where meat is slowly cooked on charcoal. “They take a piece of bread, pull the meat out of the skewer with the bread, and then you eat it that way.” In the summer, everyone drank a chilled salty tan (pronounced). teeth”doag “): Dilute yogurt with water, mix with chopped cucumber and spike mint. She misses the country’s invincible pomegranate because it is “incredibly delicious and very rare.”

HuffPost talked with three more Afghan women living in the United States about foods that comfort them.

Medina amine, Sacramento, California

Eggs were broken into garlic tomato base ground with medina amine, tukhme banjan rumi and fresh pepper.

Amin grew up watching his parents affectionately choke visitors. “There are two things we are forbidden to eat at the Afghan table. The first bite and the last bite. They are always for someone else, a guest. Or Dari. It’s a way to say “Dosteh Khudah” (a friend of God). In Afghan culture, generosity is practiced with stubborn tenderness. Even when there are few people around you, you are welcome. Amin remembers the quiet thrill of anticipating visitors at meal time, “unexpected but unexpected door knocks, and his father calling” Kush Amady! “In Dari. Throw another egg, there is always another room. “

Amin’s family left home after the Soviet invasion. A father from Kabul and a mother from the neighboring state of Parwan. They met in America, where Amin was born. She remembers her mother’s kitchen being pulled by force. “I’ve been watching her for hours,” she says. “She was very elegant and loved everything she did. Every dish was well thought out and every ingredient was bought fresh.”

Shuklia served friends and family with Ochanokawa and her special Shargambata. It’s a meal to keep you full and warm, “says Amin.

Amine likes to make tukhme banjan rumi, eggs are broken into tomato bases of garlic ground with fresh peppers. “this is No “Shakshouka,” Amin pointed out. “It’s actually just three, maybe four,” he said, adding an optional coriander powder to add a kick.

Sometimes she adds potatoes and halal hot dogs to make it bulky – “not real, but still delicious.” The dish is mop-up with warm Afghan naan and served with chai, fresh fruits, nuts, jam and kaymak (clotted cream).

Amin remembers having a picnic in the beautiful Panjshir Valley in 2010. This is her last visit. It was a day of peace of mind, singing, dancing, laughing and hugging my family. Protected by mulberry trees, I ate “Kuwaki” (a type of fried flatbread stuffed with sweet hang yogurt) soaked in local honey, kebabs and fog., Doo Freshly picked morus alba. ”

Today, this area is an important place of resistance in Afghanistan. “The day Kabul collapsed was the worst day of my life,” says Amin. “For days I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t take myself to listen to my music. My dad said” Afghanistan Bechara “(” poor As I continued to repeat “Afghanistan”), I couldn’t bear to see my father, seeing his eyes filled with tears. She is angry that Covid-19 ruined her travel plans last year. “I know I’ll be back someday,” she says. “Last time I didn’t say goodbye. I won’t let you do that.”

Habibasade, New York City

Habibasade and Ogura bowl, warm lentil soup.
Habibasade and Ogura bowl, warm lentil soup.

Saeed and her family left their home in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, in 1990. In her grandmother’s Bibi’s kitchen, Saeed fell in love with all of Kandahari, especially winter masterpieces. There were two types: Shorwa, a gently spiced lamb stew, boiled in root vegetables and poured onto bread, and Ogura (warm lentil soup).

For her version of oogra, Syed soaks chickpeas, black-eyed beans, and mung beans overnight and simmers. Fried onions and turmeric-brightened garlic swirl around softened lentils. She likes how simple it is and how well it helps Afghanistan thanks to her neighbors. “I usually make a big pot and send it to friends and family in the community. If I try to make even a little, it will be bigger than I expected.” Oogra in a bowl right next to the flame Topped with a small amount of creamy qurooth, salt-flavored dried yogurt.

Sayyid is the evangelist of qurooth. A pleasantly sour seasoning is another favorite. Her mother, quroot h-e-aush, said, “It’s a soup-like noodle dish with plenty of leek, red beans, dill and dry mint. It’s very satisfying and comforting. Just thinking about it makes me feel good.” Says.

But Kikley is her favorite dish. “It’s a porridge with mung beans. It’s topped with spicy meatballs, crows, fried onions, and dry mint. By lining up the glutinous rice and using the back of a wooden spoon to make it a little better in the middle, Plate it like my grandmother did. Pour the spices in the middle and put the fried onions on top of it. The sound brings me back to Bibi’s kitchen on a winter night, “she said. Says.

Buying Afghan recipes isn’t too difficult, but some involve labor. Sayed promotes pragmaticism. For a cloak, a traditional meat-stuffed dumpling that is thin, stretchy, and requires freshly rolled dough, she has a hack.

A recent event she said, “Suddenly, parents and grandparents were having the same conversation as they were thirty years ago, as if someone had pushed the rewind.” Are they safe? “” Again Try calling. “” Where do they stay? “” How can we help? “She says. “Especially as an immigrant. It’s a house away from home. Finding a community in a place that doesn’t always welcome you. In the cookbook she writes, Saeed wants to give readers the taste of a meal that has supported her family for many years.

LyramirDanville, CA

Lyramir and Bolani, plush flatbread.
Lyramir and Bolani, plush flatbread.

Mir has roots in Herat, western Afghanistan. “My family owned land and orchards there. My mother learned how to get fresh, sweet and refreshing Angolars from the orchards, a type of herat-famous grape. I still remember. “

Mir’s family came to the United States in 1992. Cooking is the entrance to her hometown. Early influences included the father’s legendary Memanis (feast) and the intuitive and efficient cooking of mothers and grandmothers. “I was always surprised at how quickly they prepared their meals, whether for their families or for gatherings of more than 50 people,” she says. Still, “rice is always perfectly long and fluffy, meat is juicy and tender, and perfectly spicy. Afghans don’t like their food being too spicy. Using dried fruits and nuts. I love to texture the food. “

Mir looks forward to the elaborate birthday dinner her mother makes every year. “One of the foods I know is always on the dinner menu and I can never refuse. It’s bolani,” says Flatbread stuffing. She “likes her bolani full of gandana (Afghan leeks), chives, potatoes, pumpkins, or whatever else she likes. Great for chutneys and yogurt.”

Cream roll, Afghan patisserie special.
Cream roll, Afghan patisserie special.

Meal likes to make cream rolls for nostalgia. These more pastry horns are special Afghan pastries. “The crispness of the pastry blends nicely with the soft, creamy filling inside,” she says.

The news cast a cloud on her family. “We are worried, restless, worried, helpless. We talk about our beautiful country and how it collapsed in a few days, we Talk about how no one can do anything to save it, we talk about our family going home, we talk about all our people going home about the future of Afghanistan. “

The comfort and joy of cooking Afghan food

Source link The comfort and joy of cooking Afghan food

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