Afghan Kebab Recipe

Here is a simple, quick and delicious Afghan barbecue kebab recipe which we recently made for a Sunday in the park. It was lunch for two using our small barbecue which we fired up with wood charcoal. I have adjusted the ingredients to make it for 2-4 people depending on how big your appetite is.

Ingredients

Kebab 
450 grams lamb eye fillet cut into 3 cm by 3cm cubes
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 cms thick slice of ginger finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon 
1 TBSP white vinegar 
3 TBSP finely chopped coriander
Pinch of salt and red chilli flakes to taste
3 TBSP olive oil
Olive oil spray

Vegetables
2 - 4 stalks of fresh broccolini
2 - 4 stalks of fresh asparagus
3 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt


Method
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Marinade for 2 hours in the fridge. Put onto a skewer and cook on the barbecue after spraying well with olive oil.  

Serve this with barbecued broccolini and asparagus spears. Cut off the dry part of the stem and toss with olive oil and garlic salt so the vegetables are covered in oil. Cook on the barbecue until al dante and crunchy.

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Afghan Recipe - Afghan Style Cauliflower Mash

Use this quick and delicious recipe to add a hit of tasty vegetable to any meat dish. This is my go-to dish when I need something to accompany my Qorma dishes.

Ingredients:
1 whole cauliflower cut into small florets
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic salt 
1 tsp dry mind leaves
1 cup yogurt
1 clove garlic crushed into a paste

Method:
Steam the cauliflower until really soft. Drain to remove excess water from steaming. Put into a large bowl. Add the olive oil and garlic salt. Mash well until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Set aside.

Put the yogurt in a separate bowl with the garlic, mint leaves and mix well.

When ready to serve, take 1 cup cauliflower and one tablespoon yogurt and mix well until creamy. Add salt if needed.

Serve with Afghan Style Pulled Beef or any Kebab dish.

Keep leftover yogurt and cauliflower separate in the fridge. When ready to eat, heat cauliflower mash and then mix with yogurt as you need it. 

You can also serve this mixed cold as a dip or a side salad.

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Afghan Recipe: Afghan Style Shredded Beef Qorma

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Afghan Qorma is made with vegetable or meat or a mixture of both.  It is a hearty casserole used to accompany the main event, which of-course is the rice.  

When I was growing up my mother always made a couple of Qorma dishes, one vegetable, one meat to accompany a beautiful rice dish, along with salad. 

I have merged the Mexican concept of pulled and shredded beef with the Afghan recipe of Qorma to create a delicious fusion.

I have paired this pulled beef recipe with cauliflower mash which I make Afghan style with yogurt. 

Ingredients:

5 tbsp olive oil
800 grams boneless beef eye fillet cut into 5 cm length pieces 
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp cumin
2 large onions
3 cloves garlic crushed 
1 red chilli (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp tomato paste
1.5 cups unsalted chicken stock

Method:
Heat olive oil in a heavy set pot over high heat. If you have a slow cooker or a pressure cooker it’s even better to use those for this recipe.

Once the oil is hot, add the meat and stir well until the meat has browned. Add turmeric, smoked paprika and cumin. Stir well to blend and cook until the spices are aromatic. There should be no moisture in the mixture and the oil should be separating. If there is moisture, continue to cook until there is non left.

Add the onion, salt and chilli. Reduce to medium heat. Stir often so the bottom doesn’t burn (if the mixture becomes too dry, add a tablespoon or two of the chicken stock). When the onions are softened, add the tomato paste and mix well.

Cook the meat mixture until the oil is separating from the sauce and the paste has been cooked through. 

Pour the chicken stock and cover to cook for 1-2 hours on low heat. If you have a pressure cooker or slow cooker, now is the time to close the lid.

The beef is ready when the meat is soft enough to pull apart with a fork.

The sauce should have thickened. If the meat is cooked and sauce has not thickened, simmer on low heat until the oil separates from the sauce. If the meat is not cooked and the sauce has thickened, add more stock and continue to cook.

When the meat is cooked, remove the pieces of meat and place on a chopping board. Leave the sauce in the original pot. 

Shred the meat using two forks until all the piece of meat have been pulled into shreds. Add back into the sauce and mix well. Heat and cook for two minutes.

You can serve this with white rice - buy recipe here.

For a carb free version serve it with Afghan style cauliflower mash (recipe coming shortly).

Tip 1: Leftover casserole is amazing inside a brioche or wholemeal bun for lunch!

Tip 2: You can serve the meat un-shredded if you like!

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Saffron Chicken Qorma - Afghan Recipe

Hope you enjoy my Moroccan - Afghan recipe fusion! 

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Ingredients

450 grams chicken breast cut into 2cmx2cm pieces

Handful of fresh coriander

3 cloves garlic

2cmx2cm knob of ginger

1 large red onion chopped

3 small red chillies (optional or reduce chilli if you like it mild)

4 tablespoons olive oil

Pinch of salt

1/4 of a preserved lemon rind finely chopped 

1.5 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp cumin power

1 tsp ground coriander powder

Pinch of saffron threads soaked in 2 tbsp warm water (about 5 threads)

1 cup water

1 large potato cut into 2cmx2cm cubes

1 cup frozen or fresh peas

Small handful of finely chopped fresh parsley

Serves 4-6

Method

Put coriander,  garlic and ginger in a blender and blend into a paste. Mix with chicken and set aside.

Put oil, finely chopped chilli and onion over low heat in a pot. Add a pinch of salt to help sweat out the onion. 

When the onion has softened and become translucent, add chicken and stir to mix well. 

Add the preserved lemon and turn up the heat to medium and stir occasionally.  

When the chicken has started to brown, add turmeric, cumin and coriander. 

Cook until the oil begins to separate. Add the saffron, potatoes, peas and water.

Cover and simmer until potatoes are cooked.

Add parsley and cook uncovered until the sauce has thickened. 

Serve with fluffy Afghan white rice - get the recipe for rice from my Afghan recipe book.

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Afghan Stew Cooking Recipe - “Shorwa”

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As a kid I used to really dislike “Shorwa” for some reason. Now I love this warming dish during winter. 

Shorwa is a stew that is typically made with chicken, beef or lamb. I have used chicken drumsticks in this recipe. Feel free to replace the chicken with 400 grams beef or lamb on the bone and see notes below.

Ingredients

1 knob ginger

3 cloves garlic

2 small red chillies - optional

1/2 cup chopped coriander

1 cup chicken stock 

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander seeds 

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup black eyed peas

1 large onion chopped

6 tbsp olive oil

4 chicken thighs skins removed

1 fresh tomato

1 cup Passta or tomato puree 

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 fresh tomato

3 whole medium potato peeled

1.5 cup water

1 slice Afghan or Lebanese bread to serve

Serves 4

Method:

Put the ginger, garlic, red chillies and chopped coriander into a blender with half cup of chicken stock and blend into a paste. Set aside.

Put the black eyed peas into a microwave safe bowl and cover with water and a plastic wrap. Microwave the peas for 10 minutes or until slightly softened but not cooked. Set aside.

Meanwhile, put a heavy set pot or pressure cooker or slow cooker on medium heat.

Add the onion, olive oil, salt, paprika, black pepper, cumin, turmeric, ground coriander seeds and the ginger and garlic paste along with the chicken thighs into the pot.

Cook together, stirring often to ensure the bottom doesn’t burn. When the oil begins to separate from the sauce, add the fresh tomato, Passata, tomato paste and the rest of the chicken stock. Cook until oil separates from the mixture. 

Drain the black eyed peas and add to the pot with the potato. Add water.

Cover the lid of the pressure cooker or slow cooker for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and you are left with a rich red soup.

If cooking in a pot on the stove top, cover, lower the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Keep checking often as the water may have evaporated on the stove top and you may have to add water to ensure you get a soup consistency. 

The chicken should be falling off the bone and the potato and peas should be cooked through without falling apart.

Once the soup is cooked it’s ready to serve. The traditional way we served this stew was to rip warm Afghan bread into a bowl. The meat, potato, peas and soup would then be served on top of the bread and the soup poured over the top. This creates a fantastic bowl of comfort food. If you can’t find Afghan bread, use warmed Lebanese bread instead.

A fantastic idea for left overs is to cook rice in this soup (without the peas, potato, meat) using the absorption method.

Or use this soup instead of water in my traditional Afghan rice recipe here.

Note: If using red meat for this stew please following these steps:

- Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon with the other spices

- Instead of adding the raw potato add boiled potato right at the end before serving

- Microwave the black eyed peas until cooked (maybe 20 minutes) and add them right at the end with the potato 

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I <3 chilli with food ;) do you? #food #foodies #yum

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Omg I lalalalalove your blog. I've been searching for a blog like this. I love afghan food. Definitely looking forward to learning about new recipes. Keep it up <3

Thank you :)

Delicious vegetarian Afghan eggplant recipe

Eggplant recipe

This is a vegetarian favourite which a few of my friends have taken and adopted to their own favourite vegetables. 

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Ingredients

4 large eggplants peeled and sliced in circles approximately 1 cm thick

3 large tomatoes sliced into ½ cm circles

140g tomato paste

3/4 cup unsalted chicken stock (optional - you can use water)

10 cloves peeled garlic crushed

1 red chilli finely sliced

1 level tablespoon turmeric

6 sun-dried tomatoes chopped finely

1 cup oil and extra oil for frying

2 large potatoes peeled sliced thinly into circles 

1 red or green capsicum sliced thinly into circles

1 tsp salt or more to taste

Serves 6 - 8

Method

Lightly salt the eggplant on both sides and set aside in a large tray.

Make the eggplant sauce by mixing the tomato paste, 2/3 of the crushed garlic, turmeric, chilli, salt, chicken stock, sun-dried tomatoes into a bowl. Set aside.

Put a large saucepan aside ready for the fried eggplant. Have the sliced tomatoes close by as well as the eggplant sauce. 

In a frying pan, heat oil until it is smoking hot. Pat dry the salted eggplant slices and fry in the oil. Turn to ensure they are golden brown on both sides. Top up oil as required, taking care not to add oil when eggplant slices are being fried. Oil should only be added when there is no eggplant in the frying pan so the oil can heat up before eggplant slices are added.  

As the eggplant browns, place into the separate pot. Once a layer has been placed on the bottom, add a layer of fresh tomato slices and spoon some of the sauce on top. Continue to cook the eggplant, and fry the potato and capsicum and layer until all the ingredients have run out. Pour any remaining oil over the top of the stack of layers. Close the lid and simmer the pot on low heat for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and gently simmer until the liquid has dried up and the oil is separating from the mixture. In order to ensure the eggplant at the bottom of the pot does not burn, keep the heat low or stir with a spatula so the eggplant pieces do not break. While waiting for the eggplant to cook, make the yogurt sauce.

Yogurt sauce for eggplant

2 1/2 cups Full cream Greek yogurt

1/2 sprig Fresh Rosemary 

1 handful fresh coriander 

1 pinch salt

1 teaspoon dried mint

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Remaining crushed garlic

Method

Add 1 cup of the yogurt and all ingredients into blender and blend until consistency is smooth and herbs (especially the rosemary) are well blended. Taste and add more salt if required. Fold the blended yogurt into the remaining yogurt until smooth.

To serve

On a platter, pour some of the yogurt sauce. Gently lay out the eggplant, potato and capsicum with the sauce. Decorate the top with more sauce and serve with warm toasted Afghan bread.

You can also make this dish with Zucchini like this:

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Afghan stuffed capsicums with brown rice

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic
2-3 red chillies (optional)
2 tsp ground coriander seeds 
2 tsp ground cumin
5 tbsp olive oil 
2 tsp turmeric
2 large onions finely chopped
1 tsp salt 
500 grams lean beef mince 
6 red or green fresh capsicum
1 finely chopped fresh tomato
1 tablespoon chopped sun-dried tomato
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup boiled brown rice
Serves: 6 people with one capsicum each
Method
1. Making the filling
In a food processor add 2 cloves garlic, chilli, ground coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp turmeric, half teaspoon salt and process into a paste. 
In a bowl mix the paste with the minced meat.
Put a pan over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the mince mixture and stir until well browned. Add the onions and cook until onions have softened. Take off the heat and add the brown rice. Mix well and taste for salt and add more if required. Set aside.
Wash and dry the capsicum. Cut the top off and retain as a lid. Remove the flesh and seeds from the inside, careful not to puncture the walls.
Stuff the capsicums with the mince mixture and put them in a deep oven dish side by side. Put the lids on the capsicum. 
2. Making the sauce
In a heavy set pan add remaining olive oil and the remaining chopped onion with a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. 
Add the remaining turmeric, coriander seeds and cumin and cook until spices are aromatic. Add tomato, tomato paste and sun-dried tomato. Cook until oil separates from the mixture. 
Add 1 cup chicken stock and mix well, simmering gently until the fresh tomato has softened.
3. Combining the sauce with the capsicum
Gently pour the sauce around the capsicums and spoon some of it on top of the lids. The sauce should cover most of the walls of the capsicum but not get inside the stuffing. 
 
Place in a preheated oven at 200C for 25 minutes or until the skin of the capsicum has cooked through. During the baking process continue to baste the capsicum with the sauce.
Serve with a nice salad.
Get my recipe book here for $3.99.

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Braised lamb “qabuli” is an Eid dinner table favourite in my family. #afghan #food

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Delicious roast quail cooked to perfection! #afghan #food #foodies

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I was delighted when I found these #afghan cookies in Sydney. My mum was with me when we saw them last weekend and we talked about how these were my favourite cookies when I was a kid. ‘Let me buy you these, in memory of those times,’ she said. #food #baked #yum #foodies

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Roast chicken with Afghan ingredients & portuguese style

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This is a roast chicken recipe using typically Afghan ingredients such as coriander, cumin & lime with a portuguese twist.

This makes a juicy chook that you can serve with vegetables, rice or salads.

Ingredients

1 x free range whole organic chicken (1.5 kg)

A handful of fresh coriander

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp fresh ginger

2 red chillies (optional)

20 grams butter cut into small pieces

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp sea salt

Method

Wash and pat dry your chicken. Split the chicken in two from the breast bone and flatten it. Set aside in an oven tray. In a food processor add coriander, garlic, ginger, chilli, lime juice, olive oil, cumin and salt. Blend into a paste.

Pour marinade over the chicken. Gently run your finders under the skin to separate the skin front the meat around breast and into the thighs. Be careful not to puncture the skin. Rub the marinade on the outside, under the skin and underneath the chicken.

Push the small pieces of chopped butter under the skin. Cover and marinade in the fridge for between 3 hours or 24 hours.

Preheat your oven to 200°C.

Remove the cover from the chicken. Roast the chicken, basting with the marinade, for 50 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Get more recipes here or buy my cookbook here.

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Could you do a recipe for lamb shorwa? Not sure if I am spelling it right, but it was one of my favorite dishes from my family.

Oh yeah nice idea! Let me do that in the next few weeks!

Afghan Turkey Meatball Recipe

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Winter is here and work day lunches comprised of salad or a cold sandwich won’t do. By the time noon arrives, I am in the mood for something warm and hearty. 

This is my turkey version of Afghan meatballs and meatballs are perfect for winter! You can use lean lamb or beef mince instead of turkey in the recipe if you wish. But I say, why not turkey? :) 

If you are taking this to work for lunch try adding some frozen green beans or broccoli to your lunchbox topped with a few meatballs with sauce. When you reheat them together at work, the veggies are just cooked and there you have a perfect meal.

Ingredients
500 grams turkey mince
1 small onion cut in quarters
1 large onion chopped
1 tsp salt
5 cloves garlic
2-3 red chillies (optional)
3 tsp coriander seeds ground
1 handful of fresh coriander leaves 
3 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground black ground pepper 
1 large egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
5 tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp turmeric
1 fresh finely chopped fresh tomato
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
water
Olive oil spray
1/2 cup split yellow lentils
Serves: Makes approximately 21 meatballs depending on the size and shape you choose to make them in.

Method
1. Making the meat ball.

In a food processor add egg, chillies, fresh coriander, salt, 3 cloves garlic, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander seeds, the black pepper and process until ingredients form a coarse paste. Add the small onion and pulse until onion is finely chopped but not completely dissolved.
In a bowl add the mince, the paste mixture, bread crumb and mix well. Get a handful of mince and try to form into a ball. If it forms then it’s ready if not add a little more bread crumb until you can make a ball.

Cover and place in the fridge for approx. 30 mins.
2. Making the base sauce

In a heavy set pan add 5 tablespoons olive oil and the large chopped onion with a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. 
Add the turmeric, 1 tsp ground coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp cinnamon and cook until spices are aromatic. Add tomato and tomato paste and stir cooking until oils separate from the mixture. 
Add 1 cup chicken stock and simmer until the onions and tomato are cooked through and the oil is separating from the mixture. Turn off the sauce.

Put the yellow split lentils in a microwave safe bowl and cover with  3 cms of water. Put a paper towel over the top (see photo) so the steam doesn’t kill your microwave. Ensure you have space at the top of the bowl because the water will bubble over. Microwave for around 6 - 10 minutes or until the lentils are cooked but not falling apart. Rinse and set aside.
3. Mixing the sauce and the meatballs

Add the yellow lentils to the sauce. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and turn to low heat.
Put a frying pan over low to medium heat and spray with olive oil. Take about a tablespoon of the mince and roll into a ball. You can also slightly flatten or make it smaller balls. It’s up to you. 

Brown the meatballs in the frying pan on all sides. Spray more oil as needed.
As you brown each meatball add it to the base sauce.

When all the meatballs are done, cover and cook on medium for 10-15 minutes. It should gently simmer. Occasionally give it a gentle stir to stop the bottom from burning.  Cook until meatballs are cooked through, they will harden. The oil should be separating from the sauce.
Serve with white Afghan rice, steamed brown rice or steamed green beans.

Get the recipe for white afghan rice and other dishes from my website.

Covering your lentils for the microwave:

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