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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Afghani Meal

We read the Kite Runner in English this past semester. It was a great book and I would highly recommend it to almost anybody. The movie was also great. I watched it before I read the book which usually doesn't help the book experience, but it was a very well done movie. I enjoyed both very much. This book takes place in Afghanistan. Like I said before, I wrote down all the foods that I saw in the book, while I was reading. Then later, I googled them, and found recipes for ones that sounded good. For the most part all of the dishes were fantastic.
The Main Dish: Chicken Korma


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 (2 inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 10 cardamom seeds
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cardamom seeds in hot oil for three minutes. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook until soft. Cut each chicken breast half into 4 pieces, and add to skillet; cook for about 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Season with salt, red pepper flakes, coriander, and cumin. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Continue cooking for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in buttermilk, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Just before serving, mix in the parsley.
Recipe modified from
This was a great dish. The flavors all came together and balanced very well.  I doubled it to be able to feed my family. I also added a bit more, or a bit less of some ingredients. Great when served with rice.

The Rice
I wouldn't recommend making this rice quite the way I did. I made the rice like normal, but I added some extra stuff for flavor. I added some sliced orange,  a few cardamom pods, and some star anise. It was very good, except fro if you got any rice that was touching the oranges. I added the orange too soon, and it made parts of the rice very bitter.

  • 2 cups  all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled, plus 2 teaspoons
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • Canola oil, as needed
Put the flour into a large bowl and add the salt and the yeast. Use your fingers to mix and blend the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, the yogurt and warm water. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the hook attachment or, alternatively, with your hands, combine all of the ingredients. Knead the dough with the mixer on low speed until it becomes smooth, 8 to 10 minutes. Again, alternatively, knead the dough on a lightly floured flat surface.
Pour the remaining 2 teaspoons of melted butter into a bowl large enough to hold the dough. Coat the sides and bottom of the bowl with the butter and put the dough in the center. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and keep it in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Using a pastry brush, lightly grease 2 baking sheets with some canola oil. Slide the baking sheets into the center of the oven for a few minutes.
Gently roll the dough into a 9-inch circle on a lightly floured surface so it is about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Cut the disk into quarters. Roll each quarter to 1/8-inch in thickness and still be able to fit 2 on a baking sheet.
When all the ovals are rolled, brush off any excess flour. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and arrange the naan in a single layer, 2 pieces per pan. Bake until they are light brown and puffy, about 5 minutes. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and transfer the naan to a serving platter lined with kitchen towels to keep them warm.

Great! Only downside: I wish I would have made more.
Recipe from

The Dessert:
This is the most awful thing I think I have ever eaten. And unless you regularly enjoy eating bathroom deodorizers, I highly do not suggest this dessert. And so that you can all avoid it like the plague, here's what it's called: Firnee. Yeah, I know it doesn't even sound good. Well, I realized that too late.

I'm not quite sure how this much made it out of the pie plate.
So, for the most part, this was a very good meal. Well, kinda.

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