Afghani Restaurant in the LA-Area
I *love* Afghani food and eat it wherever I can. But, thus far, I haven't been able to find any Afghan restaurant within any sensible distance of Los Angeles.
Does anyone know of such a place? I'll even drive to San Diego for such food!
I'm very familiar with Persian food, but I didn't know that Afghanis had their own distinct cuisine. I mean, that's not suprising, I've just never heard of an "Afghani" restaurant before. Afghani Bread (sort of like lavash bread, but better) is really good...but what else do they make? Is it like Persian food?
re: Cyrus J. Farivar
Iranian people I know have told me that it used to be a mark of status to have an Afghani chef.
The food is different. More use of leeks. The stews and soups are seasoned differently. They don't have some of the more typical Iranian dishes (fesenjon, ab-e gosht - dizi). The polo's are different. The lamb is marinated and seasoned in kebab's differently.
Some typical dishes are aushak, a type of leek dumpling, and sambosas,a light filled fried triangular pastry, brought by Afghans like Babur to India where it became samosa.
Much of the Mughal cuisine in India is originally afghan.
Of course there is a continuum. In Europe for example, the food of Lombardy, Piemonte, and Savoie (French and Italian) are similar. And Northern Afghanistan is culturally very close to n.e. Iran (They're both known as Khorasan) while Southern Afghanistan is culturally close to the Northwest areas (Pashtun, Pakhtun, Pathan are all synonyms) of Pakistan so there is a continuum there as well.
In fact, before the Mongol invasion in the early 13th century, the kingdom of Khorasan included Merv (today Mary in Turkmenistan) Balkh (outside Mazar-e Sherif) Kabul Herat and Nishapur (Iranian Neyshapur). Avicenna/Ibn Sina lived in Balkh as did Jalal-ed Din Rumi who's so popular recently in the West.
Afghan food will be similar if you know Persian food, but it is somewhat different in flavorings.