Posts Tagged ‘afghan’

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laghataq (vegan eggplant, tomato, and pepper dip from afghanistan)

January 4, 2019

one whole eggplant
one red bell pepper
2 medium tomatoes

2 cloves garlic
1 T whole cumin seed
1 T whole coriander seed
1 t paprika
pinch of garlic powder

1 T tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

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preheat oven to 300

roast eggplant whole on 425 in skin. strip and discard some skin and anything burnt, and slice eggplant into rounds. place on baking sheet in one layer.

separately, toast coriander and cumin in dry frying pan. grind. grab your blender and add the ground cumin/coriander, a small can of tomato sauce, 1 T tomato paste, 2 whole cloves garlic, lots of olive oil (to taste,) and a pinch of garlic powder.

back to the baking sheet. layer sliced pepper and tomatoes on top of eggplant. top with sauce.

bake 1.5 to 2 hrs, or until eggplant is soft.

let eggplant cool. add everything to blender and pulse until chunky but not pureed.

top with plain, unsweetened yogurt with a little garlic powder and salt mixed in.

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recipe adapted from Humaira’s recipe at Afghan Culture Unveiled – adaptation by friedsig

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This was a little disappointing. I felt it could really benefit from lemon juice or vinegar, or something else acidic to cut the bitterness of the eggplant and the tinned tomato sauce flavor. I cut the tomato sauce from a regular can to a small can because I’m trying to eat low-sodium now, and added a bit more olive oil. Hard to imagine this dish with any more tomato sauce – it was extremely tomatoey. It tasted more like a mildly seasoned spaghetti sauce than a dip or an eggplant dish. I used a good quality Palestinian olive oil, but if you only have supermarket olive oil, you may want to skip this recipe, as a ton of the flavor comes from the olive oil. I also cut the cumin and coriander from a tablespoon of ground spices to a tablespoon of whole spices toasted and then ground, because it seemed a bit excessive, but maybe using the whole amount would help cut some of the aluminum can flavor.

Reminds me a lot of Mughlai-style eggplant from India, but lighter without the ghee and heavy cream.

My other tomato paste and eggplant recipe is Georgian-style eggplant stuffed with carrots and parsnips, but laghataq is less sweet without the carrots and parsnips. I think I’d still recommend the Georgian-style dish over this one if you wanted something healthy and interesting and very different from a tomato sauce. You could also serve as a dip with fresh pita, crackers, raw carrots and other veggies, or whatever you like – but I far preferred this as a tomato sauce than as a dip. For my tastes, this laghataq is not exactly a dip. However, if you are looking for a really unique spaghetti sauce, or a tomato sauce to eat with grits, or something to flavor white beans or okra, or something different for an egg dish like shakshouka, or something to freeze and bring down for chicken parmigiana, try this laghataq!

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carrot stew (qorma-e-zardak)

January 6, 2017

super simple and healthy stew from afghanistan. this recipe comes from the book afghan food and cookery by helen saberi.

MY VERSION:

8 oz (about a cup) split yellow peas
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 c oil
1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes
1 tsp turmeric
3/4 t ground coriander
1/2 t ground cumin
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp vinegar
salt and black pepper

soak peas for at least a half-hour. in a soup pot, start onions and oil, then add all other ingredients except sugar. cover with water and simmer for about an hour, until peas and veggies are soft. add sugar and serve.

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HELEN SABERI’S VERSION:

8 oz split yellow peas
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes
1 tsp turmeric
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 c sugar
salt and black pepper
1 tsp vinegar

soak the peas in a little warm water for a half hour or so before cooking.

fry the chopped onion gently in the oil until golden brown and soft. drain the peas and add to the onion. now add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. add the other ingredients, adjusting sugar to taste. stir well and cook slowly, stirring from time to time, until the carrots and split peas are cooked, adding extra water if the stew becomes too dry.

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from the book afghan food and cookery by helen saberi

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I didn’t soak the peas long enough, and they were still crunchy an hour later. Definitely don’t skip the half-hour soak. Then I didn’t add enough water and the peas at the bottom of the pot burned, so, don’t do that. The flavor was good, but mild. I added the coriander and cumin to lend some depth. Overall, a great choice for someone looking for a mild, healthy, carroty stew. Would be a great choice for someone recovering from a sickness, or a picky eater, as it’s not strongly seasoned.

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gluten-free afghan sweet cornbread – roht e jowaree

December 5, 2011

i’ve never made afghan food before. lots of arabic and german loanwords in the recipes i’ve glanced over today – made me realize i don’t know shit about afghan history. time to learn!

this is a gluten-free sweet cornbread that looks wonderful from the photos.

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Roht e Jowaree

1 cup corn meal

1 cup finely ground corn flour (note: masa!)

1/4 cup butter at room temperature

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup brown sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

1 teaspoon nigella seeds (optional; note – author says to sub sesame seeds if you don’t have these.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Fit your food processor with the dough blade. Put all dry ingredients in the food processor, pulse a few times until all ingredients are mixed well.

Add butter and pulse several times until mixed well. Scrape the sides of the food processor, add the eggs, and mix until the dough is formed. If your dough is dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to add some more moisture. You may not need the milk at all. You might have to stop periodically to scrape the dough off the sides. After a few minutes, the dough will come together in one smooth lump and move around the food processor.

Remove the dough from the food processor and pat it into a smooth ball. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into two balls and work gently into a circular flat shape, about ½- inch thick. Poke little holes in a circular pattern on top of the dough with a fork, about 20 pokes per loaf. Sprinkle the loaves with nigella seeds. You can also divide the dough into 12 small balls and make approximately 4 inch round mini rohts.

Bake in the middle rack for 25-30 minutes until the corn roht is golden brown. Let it cool to room temperature before serving.

Cut into 6 wedges. Enjoy with a cup of tea.

Store roht in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. I find it tastes even better the next day.