Afghani Dastarkhan Menu
the first day you meet, you are friends. the next day you meet, you are brothers
A dastarkhan is an area which is a sheet, large tablecloth, carpet or mat on which an
enormous meal served to family and guests on special occasions. There are no set entrees
in the dastarkhan, as it is a place to serve the food. The traditional dishes that are
served on a dastarkhan are pilaus, meats, subzis or spinach, yogurt, chutneys
(mainly mint and tomato and red bellpepper) and many side dishes of fresh tomatoes, onions
and salad greens. Meals end with cardamom Choi (tea).
Bouranee Baunjan (Eggplant With Yoghurt Sauce)
Murgh or Afghani Chicken
1 Tbsp wine vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sumak powder
10 fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
2-3 tomatoes, diced
2 cucumber, chopped into half moons
1 green pepper, chopped
10 small radishes, chopped
1 onion, sliced
1 1/2 loaves pita bread, warmed on grill or in a pan
Toss the above ingredients except pita bread. Just before eating, break the pita bread and
incorporate into the salad.
Kabeli Palow (Chicken with raisins, carrots and basmati rice.)
3 pounds chicken
2 cups basmati rice (Rinse the rice several times in cold water until water remains clear.
Boil in 6 cups of water - add the rinsed rice and boil rice for 6 minutes Drain the
rice in a large strainer.)
1 sliced yellow onion
1/4 cup ghee
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
3 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 shredded or shaved carrots
3 tablespoons ghee
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup water
Heat 1/4 cup ghee in a large frying pan
over medium-high heat. Cook sliced onion until dark brown. Pick onions out from the ghee
and set aside. Leave most of the ghee in the pan.
Add washed skinless chicken to the frying pan the onions had been in, and brown well on
all sides. When browned, drain excess oil. Put chicken, 2 teaspoons salt, garlic and 3 1/2
cups water into large cooking pot. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over medium heat for
approximately 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.
Remove the chicken and put in a warm place (retain liquid in pan). Grind the fried onion
in a blender with 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons tomato paste and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix
into the meat broth and boil for 10 minutes.
Add rice and garam masala to meat broth, and simmer until liquid is reduced.
While rice is cooking, wash and peel the carrots and shred or shave into match sized
pieces. Heat 3 tablespoons ghee over the medium heat in a frying pan, add the carrots and
cook gently until lightly browned and tender. Drain ghee from pan. Add the raisins,
slivered almonds and 1/2 cup water to the carrots and cook until all the water is reduced.
Quabili Pulaw Dampukht
(Rice with Carrots and Raisins)
2 to 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean beef stew meat
2 cups water
½ teaspoon each cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and cardamom
2 medium carrots, cut into small, match-stick-sized pieces
1 teaspoon sugar 1 cup seedless raisins
pinch of saffron
2 Tablespoons blanched almonds
2 Tablespoons blanched pistachios
2 to 3 cups rice, cooked in broth from cooking meat
Heat oil and brown onion. Add beef stew meat and brown on all sides.
Add water and spices. Cover pan and simmer mixture until meat is tender (about one hour).
Remove meat and set aside. Save the broth to use for cooking rice.
Heat small amount of oil in a small pot and add carrots and almonds. Cook until carrots
and almonds are lightly browned.
Remove carrots and almonds, and add them to the meat. Put raisins in the saucepan with
about ¼ cup water. Simmer for 5 minutes until raisins are puffy.
Remove raisins and add them to the meat mixture. Cook the rice according to package
directions, using the broth from step 3 for the liquid, adding more water if necessary.
Combine all ingredients and mix. Place mixture in a large casserole and bake at 300°F for
20 to 30 minutes.
2 cups Basmati Rice
7 cups water
1 T Corn Oil
Salt to taste
Wash two cups of rice three times in cold water, and then soak
the rice for 30
Boil 6 cups of water in a large pan.
Drain the rice, and put it in the boiling water for 7 minutes.
Strain the rice, and then put it back into the a pan and add 1
cup of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of corn oil.
Let this simmer on low to medium heat, until rice has absorbed
all the liquid.
Bhanjaan Bouranee (Eggplant With Yoghurt Sauce)
2 large eggplants
2 sliced tomatoes
1 sliced green bell pepper
6 tbsp. oil
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds
Yogurt Sauce: Chakah
1/2 cup plain thick yogurt - water may be removed
1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt Granish
1 teaspoon crushed dry mint leaves
Mix the yogurt sauce ingredients and keep aside
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Peel eggplant and slice into 1/2-inch round pieces.
Add 4 tbsp.oil in a large frying pan and brown eggplant over medium heat.
Season a large baking dish with the rest of the oil, and layer with eggplant, sliced
tomatoes and green pepper.
Mix together all ingredients for tomato sauce. Pour sauce on top of eggplant in baking
dish, cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Mix together all ingredients for yogurt sauce.
Murgh or Afghani Chicken
Yield: 6 servings
2 lg Cloves garlic
1/2 ts Salt
2 c Plain, whole-milk yogurt
Juice and pulp of 1 large -lemon, 3 to 4 tablespoons
1/2 ts Cracked black pepper
2 lg Whole chicken breasts, about -2 pounds
Long, slow marinating in garlicky yogurt tenderizes, moistens and
adds deep flavor, so you end up with skinless grilled chicken that's
as delicious as it is nutritionally correct. Serve with soft pita or
Arab flatbread and fresh yogurt.
Put the salt in a wide, shallow non-reactive bowl with the garlic and
mash them together until you have paste. Add yogurt, lemon and pepper.
Skin the chicken breasts, remove all visible fat and separate the
halves. Bend each backward to break the bones so the pieces win lie
flat. Add to the yogurt and turn so all surfaces are well-coated.
Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate. Allow to marinate at least
overnight, up to a day and a half. Turn when you think of it.
To cook, remove breasts from marinade and wipe off all but a thin
film. Broil or grill about 6 inches from the heat for 6 to 8 minutes
a side, or until thoroughly cooked. Meat will brown somewhat but
should not char. Serve at once.
Afghani lamb with spinach
Serving Size : Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 1/2 lb Lamb stew meat preferably leg
1/3 c Olive oil
3/4 lb Onions -- diced large
4 ts Chopped garlic
2 ts Turmeric
1/4 ts Nutmeg
1/4 ts Ground cardamom
1 t Crushed red pepper -- or to taste
1/2 ts Cinnamon
32 oz Can tomatoes -- drain & chop
1 c Rich brown veal stock or
1 c Rich beef stock
1/3 lb Fresh spinach -- wash & drain
1/2 c Yogurt
1 tb Grated lemon peel
Salt -- to taste
1/4 c Pine nuts*
*Roasted at 350 F. for about 3 minutes.
Sear lamb in the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven. Add
the onions; saute them for 2 minutes; then add the garlic and saute
it for 1 minute. Put in the turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom, crushed red
pepper and cinnamon and saute the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes more,
being careful not to burn the onions or garlic. Add the tomatoes and
veal stock and stir.
Cover the dish and bake at 350 F. for about 1 hour, until the meat is
tender and begins to break up. Remove the dish from the oven and add
the spinach, stirring until the spinach is wilted and blended in.
Allow the stew to cool slightly. Add the yogurt, lemon peel and salt
to taste. Sprinkle with roasted pine nuts.
. Serve over rice pilaf.
Mix two cups of whole milk with 4 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon cardamon, and 1
capful of rose water in a sauce pan. Bring it to a boil. PLEASE NOTE: You must stir
constantly, if you do not, the dessert will NOT turn out properly!!! When the mix comes to
a boil, remove from the stove, and put into a shallow serving dish. Refrigerate and serve
with finely chopped pistachios sprinkled on top.