Thursday, January 19, 2012

Afghanistan: Cooking Around the World with Camilla (CATWWC)

Here's the first stop in my cooking-around-the-world adventure. I was inspired, today, to do this - cooking my way through 195 countries - by Sasha of Global Table Adventure. And, in typcial Camilla-fashion, I asked myself: why wait?

So, here we go. Dinner tonight was made up of savory and sweet dishes from AFGHANISTAN, the first country on the list.

Click here for my CATWWC (Cooking Around the World with Camilla) launch post.

I hope you'll enjoy my tabletop travels. Maybe you'll even join me in whipping up a dish or two. If you do cook something from one of these countries, I'd love to hear about it. Feel free to comment on the posts themselves or email me at constantmotioncamilla at gmail dot com.

Country: Afghanistan

Being a landlocked nation, Afghani cuisine seems to be influenced by all of its neighbors. The flat bread is reminiscent of Indian naan while the combinations of herbs and spices remind me of dinners at the table of a friend who came from Iran.

After perusing some online Afghani recipe collections, I came up with a menu that I could make with things I already had on-hand. Perfect! Before dinner, we pulled out an atlas. The boys located Afghanistan, looked at the neighboring countries, and tried to imagine what we were going to eat.

Here's what I made on our first stop of Cooking Around the World with Camilla... as always I used what I had in my cupboards or fridge, substituting here and there while trying to stay true to the flavors and textures of the original recipe.

Kadu Bouranee (Afghani Sweet Pumpkin)
This aromatic dish has the texture of a stew and is an intriguing mix of sweet - pumpkin and tomato - and tangy - plain yogurt. The fresh and dried herbs add incredible layers. I scooped this over steamed brown basmati rice.

Nan-i-Afghani (Afghani Bread)
I knew this would be a hit with the alacrity at which Indian naan is devoured at our table. This flat bread is scented wtih ground cumin and sprinkled with black caraway seeds. Riley said, "the nan is really plain to go with the really strong pumpkin." He was absolutely right.

Sher Berinj (Afghani Rice Pudding)
Years ago, in college, I cooked an Indian dinner that ended with a rosewater custard. My then-boyfriend tossed his ramekin out the window while I had my back turned, much to the amusement of the our dinner guests and to my utter dismay. It took me several years to shake off that experience and buy another bottle of rosewater. Since then, I use it sparingly, but when I do incorporate it into my cooking, it's a unique treat.

So that's it. Afghanistan, check. Country one of this adventure is down. Next up: Albania.


  1. Camilla, I am loving this culinary world tour. I'm glad that life has led you to a circle of friends and family that appreciate your incredible talent!

  2. @Jenn, thank you! Can you imagine how much different my life would be with picky eaters?!?

  3. Great post on "Afghanistan: Cooking Around the World with Camilla (CATWWC)". As a professional chef i have to appreciate your work. Keep Posting useful posts like this. Keep in touch with my websites- cake courses in dubai | cake decorating classes dubai


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