February 2002 - Afghan



This meal was held at Chuck and Linda's on February 9. Unfortunately Sharon could not attend. We were all impressed with the good taste of all of the items on the menu. Chuck was like his old self, looking better than ever after back surgery. 

For the first time, we have online images of each dish as presented at the dinner.


Afghan Kadu Bouranee (Sweet Pumpkin)

Serves 1

2 lb Fresh pumpkin or squash  (Banana squash was used this time)
1/4 cup of Corn oil
Sweet Tomato Sauce:
1 tablespoon Crushed garlic  (Don used 3 tablespoons)
1 cup of Water
1/2 tablespoon Salt
1/2 cup of Sugar
4 oz Tomato sauce
1/2 ts Ginger root, chopped fine
1 tablespoon Freshly ground coriander Seeds
1/4 ts Black pepper
Yogurt Sauce: 1/4 ts Crushed garlic, 1/4 tablespoon Salt, 3/4 cup Plain yogurt
Garnish: Dry mint leaves, crushed

Peel the pumpkin and cut into 2-3" cubes; set aside. Heat oil in a large frying pan that has a lid. Fry the pumpkins on both sides for a couple of minutes until lightly browned.

Mix together ingredients for Sweet Tomato Sauce in a bowl then add to pumpkin mixture in fry pan. Cover and cook 20-25 minutes over low heat until the pumpkin is cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated. (I don't know how it's going to evaporate if the pan is covered....-B.) Mix together the ingredients for the yogurt sauce.

To serve: Spread half the yogurt sauce on a plate and lay the pumpkin on top. Top with remaining yogurt and any cooking juices left over. Sprinkle with dry mint. May be served with chalow (basmati rice) and naan or pita bread.

- brought by Sharon and Don


Bichak (Stuffed Baked Tricorners)

(above - squash Bichak served as appetizer)

(above - strawberry Bichak served as dessert)


1 1/2 c (abt) water, warm
1 ts Sugar
1 pk (1/4 oz, 7 grams) dry yeast
3 1/2 cup of Flour
3 tb Corn oil
1 Egg, separated
1 Egg yolk, beaten WITH
1/2 tablespoons of Corn oil


Squash, Calabasa or Pumpkin

1/4 cup Corn oil
2 md (2 cups) onions, chopped
1 cup - water, hot & 1/4 tablespoons of salt
2 tablespoons of Sugar
1 pound Butternut squash, calabasa or pumpkin


1 lb Farmer cheese
1 Egg yolk, beaten
3 tb Sugar
1/2 tablespoons of Ground cinnamon


1 cup Strawberry or grape or prune jam (lekach)
2 tablespoons of Bread crumbs

Bichak are popular appetizers for tea or coffee hour. The pumpkin & jam stuffings are on the sweet side while meat & cheese are savory & could be eaten for lunches w/salad & dish of yoghurt. An added attraction is that they may be prepared in large quantities, cooled & frozen for the future.

Heat oil in a pan, add onions, & saute over moderate heat until onions turn golden. Add water, salt, sugar, & squash or calabasa or pumpkin & bring to a boil. Cover pan & cook over low heat for about 20 mins as squash/calabasa/pumpkin becomes soft & disintegrates. Stir now & then, which in effect mashes contents. Continue last mins of cooking, uncovered, to evaporate all liquid & create & thick jam. The mash is still moist.

CHEESE: Mix everything together. Set aside.

JAM: Mix jam & crumbs together. Set aside.

TO PREPARE TRICORNERS: 1. Mix 1/2 c warm water, sugar, & yeast together & proof in a warm place until mixture foams, abt 10 mins.

2. Make a well in flour, add yeast mixture, oil, & 1 egg white, & stir them into flour. Add balance of water, or enough water to prepare a soft dough. Knead for several mins & roll into a ball. Oil top lightly & leave dough in mixing bowl. Cover bowl w/foil or a towel & let rise for 45 mins to 1 hour.

3. Punch down dough ball. Pull off abt 1/2 cup of dough & roll into a slightly flattened ball. Prepare 6 balls.

4. On well-floured board roll out each ball, 1 at a time, to 12-" pancake. Using empty can or a cookie cutter, 3-" in diameter, cut out circles in pancake. Put 1 tb of whichever stuffing you are using, or variety of stuffings, in center of each circle. Fold over right & left side of circle to meet in the center & bring up bottom to cover stuffing. Pinch ends together to form tricorner pastry. Seal in contents. Paint tops of bichak w/egg yolk.

5. Line baking pan or cookie sheet w/lightly oiled aluminum foil. Place tricorners on foil & bake in a preheated 350F. oven for about 40 mins, or until brown. Serve warm. Makes 48 to 50 bichak.

NOTE: Cool bichak, store in plastic bags, & freeze. To serve, thaw out frozen bichak for 1/2 hour & heat in preheated 350F. Oven for 5-10 mins.

- brought by Linda and Chuck


Bouranee Baunjan

 Serves 6

4 Medium eggplants (1 kg total)
Oil for frying
2 Medium onions; sliced
1 Green pepper; seeded, sliced
2 Large ripe tomatoes; peeled Salt
1/4 tablespoons of Hot chili pepper
1/4 cup of Water

Chakah (Yogurt Sauce)

2 cup Chakah (drained yogurt)
2 Garlic cloves (or more)  (Dar used 4 cloves)
Salt to taste

Cut the stems from eggplants and leave peel on. Cut into slices 1 cm (1/2-inch) thick. Spread on a tray and sprinkle slices liberally with salt. Leave for 30 minutes, then dry well with paper towels.

Pour enough oil into a deep frying pan (with lid to fit) to cover base well. Fry eggplant until lightly browned on each side. Do not cook completely. Lift onto a plate when browned. Add more oil to pan as required for remaining slices. As oil drains out of eggplants on standing, return this to the pan and add onion. Fry gently until transparent. Remove to another plate.

Place a layer of eggplant back into the pan. Top with some sliced onion, green pepper rings and tomato slices. Repeat using remaining ingredients and adding a little salt and the chili pepper between layers. Pour in any remaining oil from eggplant and onion and add the water. Cover and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until eggplant is tender.

Combine chakah ingredients and spread half of the sauce into base of serving dish. Top with vegetables, lifting eggplant carefully to keep slices intact. Leave some of the juices in the pan. Top vegetables with remainder of chakah and drizzle vegetable juices over it. Serve with Kabaub and Lawash (flat bread).

- brought by Dar and Wayne


(Afghan Bread)

Makes 8 Nans

1 1/2 cup of Water, warm
1 package of (1/4 oz, 7 grams) dry yeast
1 tablespoons of Sugar
4 cup of Flour
1 tablespoons of Salt
1/4 cup of Corn oil
1 Egg yolk, mixed W/
1 tablespoons of Water
1 tablespoons of Black cuminseed or caraway -seeds

These small oval breads are baked in a tandoor, the stove of the region -- sometimes buried in the ground as it is in India. The Afghan oven is above ground & is of rounded bricks, which are heated. Nan are shaped & slapped & stuck on the hot bricks for fast baking.

1. Mix 1/2 cup of warm water, yeast, & sugar together & let it proof for 10 mins. When froth appears, sprinkle 1/2 ts flour on top & let it continue to proof for 5 mins more. The froth will rise quickly.

2. Put flour in a large mixing bowl & sprinkle salt over it. Make a well in middle of flour & add oil & yeast mixture. Stir this in & add small amounts of water until you have produced a soft, moist dough that can be handled. Knead well for 5 mins. Put dough ball back in bowl, cover w/towel, & let rise for 1-1/2 hours. Punch down dough.

3. Divide dough into 8 equal parts & roll each part into a ball. Roll each ball into a oval shape 6 to 7 inches long & 1/2 inch thick.

Draw tines of a fork in 3 lines along length of each noni for a decorative design. Paint each noni w/egg mixture & sprinkle over all 1/2 ts black cuminseeds. (This is traditional seed to use, but caraway seeds may be substituted if black cuminseed is unobtainable. Put noni on an ungreased cookie sheet & bake in a preheated 350 F.oven for 20 to 25 mins. The brown top will glisten. Makes 8 noni.

NOTE: Black Cumin (Bunium persicum B. Fedtsch): Smaller & sweeter than standard cuminseed; plants grow wild in Middle East. The seeds are used in Afghanistan, Iran, & Turkey. Black cuminseeds are sprinkled on Afghan bread.

- brought by Ronnie and Joe


Qabeli Pilau
(Yellow Rice with Carrot & Raisins)

1 lb (2 cups) long grain rice, preferably basmati
6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 - 2 lbs lamb on the bone or 1 chicken, jointed
salt & pepper
2 large carrots
4 oz black seedless raisins
2 tsp char masala or cumin
tap saffron

Rinse the rice several times in cold water until it remains clear. Add fresh water and leave the rice to soak for at least half an hour.

Heat 4 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions. Stir and fry them until brown. Remove from the oil and add the lamb. Brown well on all sides in the oil. Add about 1 cup of water,  and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer until the meat is tender. When cooked, remove the meat and put it in a warm place. Grind the onions to a pulp, add them to the meat broth and stir well.

While the meat is cooking, wash and peel the carrots and cut into pieces the size of a matchstick. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a small pan and add the carrots. Cook the carrots gently until they are lightly browned and tender. If they are tough it may be necessary to add a little water and simmer until tender. All the water should evaporate. Remove the carrots from the oil, add the raisins, and cook these gently until they begin to swell up. Remove the oil and set aside the carrots. Save any remaining oil for the rice.

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and add about 1 teaspoon of salt. Drain the rice and add to the boiling water. Parbroil for 2 to 3 minutes before draining the rice in a large sieve. Put the rice in a large casserole and sprinkle with char masala  and saffron. Take the meat juices and measure out approximately cup. Pour the juices over the rice and stir very gently once. Then place the cooked meat on one side of the casserole and the carrots and raisins on the other. Add any oil left over from cooking the carrots. Cover with a tightly fitted lid and place in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for about 45 minutes or leave it in a tightly covered pan on top of the stove over a very low heat for the same length of time.

To serve, remove the carrots and raisins and set to one side. Remove the meat and set to one side. Take about a quarter of the rice and put it in a large dish. Top with the meat , then cover with the remaining rice,. Garnish the top of the rice with the carrots and raisins.

- brought by Linda and Chuck


Sher Berinj

 Serves 4

1/4 pounds of Rice
1 pint of Milk
4 oz Sugar
4 oz Sultanas
Rose water or vanilla
Pistachio nuts

Wash the rice and spread it out on a flat board to dry. When completely dry, crush to a third of the size of the grain. Boil the milk and allow it to thicken, stirring constantly. When it is reduced to three-quarters of the original quantity, add the rice and cook for a few minutes. Add sugar and sultanas, and cook until you have a thick custard (10 to 15 minutes). Remove from heat and flavor to taste with rose water or vanilla. Sprinkle with pistachio nuts. Serve hot or cold.

- brought by Ronnie and Joe


These recipes were found at:  http://www.afghan-network.net/Cooking.