April 13, 2006 we had just arrived at my cousin Ghani's house for a feast
During my 2006 trip to Afghanistan, firt time back since I arrived in the U.S. in 1980, there were many parties in my honor. In Kabul, when guests arrive they are served tea with some sweets, nuts and perhaps cookies. Dinner is served as one course: salad and at least 4-5 dishes and sometimes more. Guests pile everything on their plate and eat heartily, with the host forcefully adding a few extra servings of everything. Afghan hospitality is legendary and food is an integral part of this hospitality. Typical drinks with the meal are soft drinks, Dough (a yogurt drink) or water.
The meal is usually followed by plenty of black cardamom tea, some sweets such as Noqul e Nakhodi (sugar covered chickpeas) or Noqol e Badami (sugar covered almonds) and hard candy. At formal parties the dessert may consist of Firnee, Gosh e Feel (elephant ear, a pastry), or Sheer Birinj (rice pudding). If that’s not enough, then a large platter of seasonal fruit follows.
I entertain differently from Jeja (my mom) who still follows the Afghan style of entertaining. For my dinner party, I created a menu to accommodate several courses and integrated wine, a big part of California entertaining.
We have recipes for most of these dishes on our blog, and the rest will get posted soon. Perhaps you can have a modern Afghan party, too.
Afghan Pomegranate and Pear White Sangria
Blue Italy Sparkling water
Noqol e Nakhodi (purchased)
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