Like just about every country in Europe and the Middle East, Afghanistan has a meatball dish. Meatballs are an easy thing to make and are especially delicious with a creamy sauce. Since we are in the Middle East, we went with yogurt.
This recipe is adapted from the same cookbook as the other Afghan recipes, Afghan Food and Cookery by Helen Saberi.
The gist is, take some ground meat (we used turkey but lamb is more authentic) and mix it with a chopped onion, cilantro, ground coriander, cumin, ground cloves and cinnamon. Just a tiny bit of those spices. Add an egg for a binder and shape into balls or lil loaves.
The sauce was 2 chopped onions browned in oil with a Tbs. of tomato sauce. Brown the meatballs in the pan on all sides and then add some water to thicken the sauce and cook on low for about 30 min or until your meat is cooked through.
I will confess, I used the rice cooker. I’m sorry, nothing beats that for convenience. And since we had asparagus, I had to saute that in butter and add some lemon juice.
This was my last Afghan meal and John’s favorite. All the meals I made really revolved around meat and bread and I was hoping for more vegetables. With the future countries I’d like to try some veggie recipes and perhaps some dessert ones since I’m a huge dessert person. It was interesting to see the different influences on Afghan food.
One last tidbit about Afghanistan. The country has definitely had a tumultuous history having been invaded many times. Recently I watched that horrible history of Alexander the Great with Angelina Jolie in it as his mother. At any rate, Alexander was one of the many who invaded Afghanistan. Next came a Samanid invasion that converted the majority of the population to Islam. Afghanistan was also invaded by Genghis Khan, the Turks, the British and the Soviet Union. We are the latest in a long line of conquerors of this battered country.
This website has some beautiful photos of the country.
Next up: Albania!