Here’s a photo my sister took this evening of our family (except for my dad) enjoying Intelligentsia coffee as we talk nutrition.
For supper this evening I began my weekly meal-from-around-the-world plan. For this I’m finding a popular meal to make from many different countries. I’m heading through the countries alphabetically, but I’m sure I won’t get all the way through before getting sick of the project (it would take 3 1/2 years to cook a meal from each country). This evening’s meal used recipes from Afghanistan. We liked the meal and each dish was simple and fairly quick to prepare. Here are the three recipes I made:
- Quabili Palau (Basmati rice cooked with spices, served with chicken)
- Masto Khiar (A yogurt-cucumber salad with walnuts and mint leaves)
- Whole Wheat Naan from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads
The yogurt I used in the salad as well as the naan my mom made herself using an Excalibur dehydrator.
I was planning to make baklava for dessert, but I couldn’t find phyllo dough sheets in the grocery store this week.
Most of these dishes didn’t originate in Afghanistan, but they’re some of the most popular dishes in that country today. Oftentimes if a food has been adopted the food will change in some ways for the local style. For instance, Afghan-styled baklava is cut into little triangles with crushed pistachio nuts sprinkled on top, whereas Iranian baklava is cut into diamond shapes and flavored with rosewater, and the Allepo version is filled with lots of pistachios.
One of my favorite studies in elementary school was to cook meals with my family that other families would normally eat from all around the world. Since I missed this study I thought now would be the perfect time to pick it back up. It will hopefully help my culinary skills, as well as my understanding of the world, and also makes for interesting conversation topics.
My next meal will be from Albania. I have no idea what Albanians eat.