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Beverly- Well done! I am glad it turned out well. What restaurant do you go to in San Diego? - Humaira

I made this last night and it was perfect!! Tasted just like my fave restaurant here in San Diego! Thanks for sharing :)

Salaam Humaira and Katie!

Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes. I am Afghan myself but regret not learning all the lovely recipes my mom can whip together. Now that we are in different time zones I can't always call her up, and I love that I have this site to look back on. Plus even if I do know the recipes it's always nice to see how people cook the same things slightly differently.

Please continue your lovely recipes! (My mouth waters now for sabzi!!)


Hi Dan, Yes of course you can use goat meat, just pick the fatty bits since goat meat can get chewy if over cooked. In San Francisco it is not easy to find goat meat and it seems Americans don't like the idea of eating goat, so we stick to lamb and beef as our main red meat source. Personally, I don't love lamb, I know, it is anti-Afghan but what can I say? I just don't like the smell of it. Let me know how it turns out with goat meat. Nosh e jan - Humaira

OK another question. All your recipes call for lamb meat. Can this be substituted with goat meat? will it give the same taste? Where i am currently located in Afghanistan they seem to use more goat meat and less lamb meat. Thanks for any input.

HI Tamana, Yes, adding fresh cilantro does enhance the taste of this dish. Thank you for trying our recipe - Humaira

Very helpful, i also tried it with a bunch of freshly chopped coriander, and it enhanced the taste so much more and used lamb broth as well. Yummm thanks

Zarin Jan, I am so glad you made the Sabzi and it was hit. I love hearing that people are dabbling into cooking Afghan food and are having success at it. Happy cooking - Humaira

Im a newbie to this whole afghan cooking thing! But I tried this recipe and everybody complimented me saying this is the best sabzi they ever had! Thank you SO much!!! You thoughtfulness has helped many others! God bless

Hello Maurina,
I am glad your search has finally ended. I hope you enjoy the recipe. Let us know how it turned out.


I have looked for this recipe for 15 yrs. Thank You so much. I had this made for me by someone I worked with and never got the recipe ingredient amount, only spinach cilantro dill and onions. cook for a long time. I am very happy.

Dear Kathy,
Here is Jeja's palau spice recipe for 3 cups of rice. We adjusted it for the palau blog post since black cardmom can be hard to find so we didn't include it in our recipe. You can of course make a large mix and keep it in your spice drawer.

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground green cardamom

1 txp ground black cardmom

½ tsp. ground black pepper

Salaam Humaira Jaan and Katie Jaan,
Thank you for these wonderful recipes! I was most interested to see the slow cooker recipes as my family's busy life makes it VERY difficult to always have good, home cooked food during the week. I usually spend a lot of time on the weekends preparing extra for the rest of the week but I'm anxious to try your mashawa and shola recipes.
My mother-in-law was a wonderful Afghan cook and I learned so much from her but now that she's gone, God bless her soul, I am often at a loss when cooking and I can't just call her to verify what I need to do.
Now I have a resource with your blog!
This past weekend my husband and I were reduced to tears when we opened the jar of Madar Jaan's palau spices and the wonderful aroma wafted out. This spice mixture, made with her own hands, will run out at some point. Humaira Jaan, do you have recipes for palau spices ? We can't replace hers but perhaps we can honor her memory by continuing to make this masala. I have a general idea and I know there are many family mixtures, but I'm at a loss for specific spices and the amounts of each.
Also, I have a suggestion for a "quick" mantu in which you boil bow tie noodles, layer them on the bottom of a casserole dish, then a layer of sabzi, a layer of ground meat (we use ground turkey) qourma, a layer of mast to top it off sprinkled with dried mint. Fast as spaghetti on a busy weeknight, tasty and nutritious!
Thank you!

Great to hear from you. Where are you living in Afghanistan. Congratulations on your marriage. We will work on the recipe requests. Qichree Quroot is one of my favorite dishes. If you learn a dish from an Afghan please share with us. We want to also get submissions from our readers.

Thank you for your feedback. We're so glad you are enjoying the blog. Let us know your how the lawndee goes. Please feel free to share your recipes with us as well. We will try to tackle some of the ones you've suggested so far.


Dear Katie & Humaira,

I absolutely LOVE this blog. Thank you for consolidating very authentic recipes for some of the BEST afghan dishes. Your blog is wonderfully colorful and thoughtfully personal.

I grew up with lots of these dishes but learned few. I recently got married and have some time on my hands so I've been learning. This blog has been a godsend.

I'm currently living in Afghanistan where I have both benefits and limitations with ingredients but I'm learning how amazingly diverse Afghan food can be.

I wish you both lots of success with this blog and many amazing days cooking Afghan dishes in the best city (my old hometown) ever.

Here are some recipes I would love to see:
Piaway Ashtaqh
Sheer Birenge/DaygCha
Cheer Chai

Anyway, thank you again. I am off to prepare my very first Lawndee Palau feast using your entry.


An Old Afghan Soul

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About Humaira

  • Humaira was born in Afghanistan and now lives in California. She reconnects to her roots by writing about Afghan culture and cooking the foods of her homeland. She passionately shares the wonders of her beleagured country through its rich culture, delicious food and stories about her experiences in Afghanistan. Humaira consults on Afghan culture, speaks about Afghanistan and is a social activist.

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Afghan Eats

  • Kabul Afghan Cuisine
    Full-service Afghan restaurant in San Carlos, Sunnyvale and Burlingame.
  • East West Gourmet Afghan Foods
    These friendly folks sell tasty bolani with spreads and sauces at farmer's markets all over Northern California and at selected Whole Foods markets. We are especially fond of the cilantro pesto and garlic mint cheese.
  • de Afghanan Kabob House
    Though a tiny, hole in the wall joint along the "little Kabul" strip of Fremont, CA, it is highly atmospheric with the purveyors grilling savory kebabs and hand making bolani as you wait for your food.
  • Helmand Restaurant in San Francisco
    A lively and attractive Afghan restaurant with great food and a friendly staff.

Non-Profit for Afghanistan

  • Afghan Friends Network
    Humaira co-founded Afghan Friends Network to help women and girls in Afghanistan. We currently education 500 girls, 250 boys and 80 women.
  • Aid Afghanistan for Education
    Aid Afghanistan for Education (AAE) is dedicated to empowering Afghans and rehabilitating the education system in Afghanistan.

Great Reads

  • Khaled Hosseini: And The Mountains Echoed
  • Fariba Nawa: Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman's Journey Through Afghanistan
  • Tamim Ansary: Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan
  • Rory Stewart: The Places In Between

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