This month begins a new series here on Rhubarbarians, Global Feasts. Each month, I will prepare a feast inspired by a different country. The idea is to begin with the letter A and move down the alphabet. Sounds awesome eh? This month..... the very first feast...... Afghanistan.
I first ran across this idea when I met Sarah through a mutual friend. She had weekly potlucks inspired by every country in the world. Every single one! I love the idea of trying new meals and experiencing different cultures through food. Learning about global ingredients and global traditions. How rad would it be to create a recipe from every country in the world? Well.... I did the math.... and if I did a feast once a month, it would take about 21 years to complete. Egads guys. 21 years. So, I've decided to do my own mini version of Sarah's idea and call it Global Feasts.
I usually prefer pretty 'hands off' approaches to cooking. Simple and tasty amiright? I'm not one to make many sides, let alone feasts! So, let's just say I'm a beginner when it comes to preparing several dishes for several people. Although I enlisted the help of 2 amazing people the day of, I feel like I accomplished something out of my comfort zone. Something out of the ordinary. Something I'm proud of.
The preparation began a handful of days before the day of the feast. Soaking, peeling, stirring, roasting, marinating. SO MUCH PREP! I realized that afghan cooking is actually very minimal in ingredients, but showcases the BEST of every ingredient. Each dish comes together with only a few ingredients, and is absolutely full of rich flavors and textures.
"As you can imagine, local ingredients, culture and religion all play a part in the development of a country’s cuisine. Afghan food has influences from many places including India, other Central Asian countries, Turkey and Italy. Afghan food is neither spicy, nor bland. It is a blend of perfectly balanced ingredients, lightly seasoned to highlight the best flavors." - Humaira Ghilzai
On the menu:
Kabuli Palau - Afghanistan's national dish. A rich and flavorful chicken and rice dish with carrots, raisins, and almonds.
Haft Mewa - Afghan New Year fruit and nut salad. Literally translates as "seven fruits."
Sweet Potato Bolani - Fried lavash bread stuffed with sweet potato, cilantro, and green onion. Served with a garlic yogurt sauce.
Doogh - A refreshing salted yogurt drink blended with ice, cucumber, and mint.
This feast consisted of 5 adults, and one toddler who is, sadly, allergic to sweet potato. He loved the fruit salad though! Although the kabuli palau was the main course, the sweet potato bolani was absolutely the shining star on the table. SO packed with flavor and only 10 ingredients, including the sauce! Definitely a recipe I plan on keeping for the future.
Do any of you want to join in the fun? I'd love to link up in February with the next global feast. Shoot me an email if you are interested.
Be prepared for all the recipes coming your way soon!