Multi Kulti Kitchen: Afghanistan

Photos: Casey Angelova

At another event Multi Kulti Kitchen event on October 2 201 2, the Afghan community in Sofia will show us its traditions and culture. Our hosts have prepared several typical food that you will have the opportunity to try. Documentary will complement your newly acquired knowledge about Afghan cuisine, explaining the peculiarities of the different meals in 8 of the largest regions in the country, will demonstrate the difference in dialect and traditional costumes. Then you will be able to enjoy a traditional dance and live music. The funds raised from this event will be donated to the Council of Refugee Women and used to support asylum seekers and refugees in Bulgaria.



Sabzi (Spinach)

3 tbsp oil
2 bunches green onions
1 tbsp garlic
2 bunches cilantro
2 big pinches dried dill
10 oz. spinach
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp cumin
1 1/2 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp chicken flavor bouillon powder

In a medium saucepan, put 3 tbsp of oil into the pan and turn it on to medium heat. Wash and finely chop 2 bunches of green onions. Let heat until the onions are translucent, then add 1 tbsp of finely chopped garlic and let fry for about 2-3 minutes. Finely chop 2 bunches of cilantro and add to the pan. When the cilantro wilts a bit, add the frozen spinach. After 5 minutes, turn so that all of the spinach is no longer frozen. Add 1 cup of water to stop the frying. Add 1/2 tsp of paprika, 1 1/2 tbsp of ground cilantro seeds, add 2 tbsp of cumin and 2 tbsp coriander and mix into the spinach. Add 2 large pinches of dried dill, rub it in your hands to release the essence and add to the pan. Finally add 1 tbsp of chicken flavor bouillon powder in place of salt.  Stir until most of the water has evaporated off and the spinach is cooked through.

Kofta Challow

For Kofta

1lb lamb or beef that is minced
1 medium onion, minced
1 tbsp of finely chopped garlic
1 egg
3 tsp ground cilantro seeds
1 tbsp (to taste) of chicken flavor bouillon powder in place of salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 handful fresh cilantro finely chopped

For Korma

Enough oil to fill the bottom surface of the pan
2 medium onions finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp of chicken flavor bouillon powder in place of salt
2 tsp paprika
3 tsp cumin powder
3 tsp coriander powder

In a glass bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix them together very well. It is important to mix everything together well so that the meatballs will be very soft. Form the balls about 2 inches thick and make them as round as possible. Next, set the meat aside while you make the Korma sauce.

For the Korma sauce heat the oil in a large pan (the meatballs should not touch each other in the pan if possible). Fry the onions until they turn reddish brown, but DO NOT BURN THEM. In a separate bowl add 2 cups of water and add the spices and tomato paste to the bowl and mix until the tomato paste dissolves. Add this mix to the frying onions, stir until the frying stops. Add the meatballs, making sure they do not touch, and then add water until the meatballs are 2/3rds covered.

Place the pan on medium high heat and cover the pan with a lid and let cook for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and carefully turn over each meatball, make sure the bottom is not burning. Stir gently and replace the lid leaving it ajar so the steam can escape for 25 more minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove the lid and dimmer until the sauce thickens.

Total cooking time is between 45 minutes to 1 hour, you will know when the korma is thick; do not forget to rotate the meatballs several times to prevent burning. Serve with white rice (challow).

Rote (Sweet Bread)

5 ¼ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 package of quick rise yeast
1 ½ sugar
¼ tsp cardamom
¾ cups vegetable oil
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp yogurt
Sia Dona
Sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (Fahrenheit).
use a bowl to mix 5 1/4 cups of flour with two level teaspoons of baking powder,  1 package of quick rise yeast and and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom and mix very well. In a small saucepan, gently warm 3/4 cup of vegetable oil. Do not burn the oil, only make it warm, and add the oil to the flour mixture. Heat 3/4 cups of warm water and gradually add, while stirring to the mixture. Incorporate all the ingredients very well, and then add 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of yogurt. Knead the dough until it is soft for 3-5 minutes and then place it in a bowl, covered, to rest for 10 minutes. Then roll out 2 rounds that are about 3/4 inches thick. I find it is best to roll these out in an oven proof pan that is pre-greased with a non-stick cooking spray. Once in the pan, prick all over the dough with with a fork and sprinkle a handful of sia dona and sesame seeds if you like them. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until the rote has risen slightly and is golden brown.

The rote is best eaten with tea, it should be eaten in 3-5 days.