Afghan Vegetarian Recipes

Samoosi Yirakot
(stuffed vegetable turnovers)

Yield: 20 servings

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 c Fine matzoh meal
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1/4 ts Salt
  • 1/2 c Cold water, approx.

Vegetables

  • 1 tb Corn oil
  • 1 md Onion; chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove; chopped
  • 1 Potato; peeled – cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 c Cauliflower (chopped)
  • 1 Carrot; chopped (1/2 C.)
  • 1/2 c Green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 c Thin-sliced green beans
  • 1/4 ts Salt
  • 1/4 ts Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Corn oil, for deep-frying

Directions

Mix the meal, egg and salt together, adding just enough water to make a moist dough that holds together. Set aside. Heat the oil in a skillet, add the onion and garlic, and stir-fry over moderate heat until light brown, about 3 min. Set aside.

Take the potato and 1/2 C. each of any other 3 vegetables and blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain well. Add these to the pan with the onion and garlic and stir-fry over moderate heat for 3 minutes, to mix well. Add salt and pepper. Cool.

Take 1 heaping T. of the dough and press it out on a flat surface into a 2 1/2 inch square. Put 1 T. of the vegetable mixture on the bottom half of the square and fold it over into a triangle. Prepare all the samoosi this way. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet and brown the turnovers over moderate heat for about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm. Makes about 20 turnovers.

Chakha Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 4 medium Eggplants
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • 2 Medium Onions, sliced
  • 1 Green Pepper, seeded & sliced
  • 2 large ripe Tomatoes, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon Hot Chile Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 cups Chakah Drained Yogurt
  • # 2 cloves garlic

Directions

Cut the stems from the eggplants & leave peel. Slice into 1 cm pieces. Spread on a tray & sprinkle slices liberally with salt. Leave for 30 minutes, then dry well with paper towels. Pour enough oil into skillet with a lid, to cover base well. Fry eggplant until lightly browned on each side. Do not cook completely. Lift onto a plate. Add more oil as required for remaining slices. As oil drains out of eggplant, return this to the pan & add onions. Fry gently till translucent. Remove to another plate. Place a layer of eggplant back into the pan. Top with some sliced onion, green pepper rings & tomato slices. Repeat using remaining ingredients & adding a little salt & the chili between layers. Pour in any remaining oil from the eggplant. Add onion & water, cover & simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.

Combine chakah ingredients & spread half the sauce into base of serving dish. Top with vegetables, lifting eggplant gently to keep slices intact. Leave some of the juices in the pan. Top vegetables with the rest of the chakah & drizzle the remaining juices over it. Serve with flat bread.

Vegetable Fritters

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 c Chickpea flour (besan)
  • 1/2 ts Asafetida (optional)
  • 1/2 c Unbleached all-purpose flour.
  • 1/4 ts Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 ts Baking soda
  • 3/4 ts Cream of tartar
  • 2 tb Lemon juice
  • 1/4 ts Sea salt
  • Oil, for frying
  • 1 ts Cumin powder
  • 1 c Sliced potatoes (1/4″ thick)
  • 1 ts Coriander powder
  • 1 c Cauliflower florets
  • 1 ts Tumeric
  • 1 c Chopped bell pepper

Directions

Blend flours, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and spices.

Gradually whisk in water and lemon juice to make a smooth batter the consistency of heavy cream. Set aside.

Heat about 3″ oil in a large skillet or deep fryer.

Dip vegetables in batter to coat. Immerse in hot oil, turning to cook evenly, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper.

Cover and place in a warm oven while cooking remaining pakoras.

Per serving: 186 cal, 5 g prot, 95 mg sod, 25 g carb, 8 g fat, 0 mg chol, 21 mg calcium

Tamarind Potatoes

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tb Tamarind paste
  • 2 c Water
  • 8 sm Boiling potatoes
  • 1/4 c Corn oil
  • 1 md Onion; thinly sliced
  • 2 ts Minced fresh ginger
  • 4 Garlic cloves; minced
  • 1/2 ts Dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 ts Ground turmeric
  • 1/2 ts Ground cardamom
  • 1/2 ts Ground fennel
  • 1/2 ts Cinnamon
  • 1/4 ts Freshly ground pepper
  • Salt

Directions

Dissolve tamarind paste in 1 cup water. Let stand 30 minutes. Strain. Boil potatoes until just tender. Cool completely, then peel. Using wooden skewer, pierce each potato in 4 places.

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until crisp and lightly browned, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from skillet.

Add potatoes and brown well on all sides. Remove from skillet. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon oil from skillet. Add ginger and garlic and stir 1 minute. Stir in pepper flakes and turmeric. Blend in 2 tablespoons water. Mix in onion. Add potatoes, tamarind liquid and remaining 14 tablespoons water. Stir in cardamom, fennel, cinnamon and pepper.

Cover and simmer until sauce has thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season with salt.

Ginger Tamarind Eggplant

Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2-inch-round ball tamarind
  • 1/4 c -Boiling water
  • 1 lb Thin, long eggplant
  • 3 tb Light vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 ts Minced garlic
  • 2 ts Ground coriander
  • 1/4 ts Ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 ts Ground cloves
  • 1/2 c Packed flaked coconut — fresh or canned, — unsweetened
  • 1 ts Cayenne pepper (or more)
  • 1/2 ts Coarse salt; or to taste
  • 2 tb Unsulphured molasses -OR- Brown sugar
  • 1/2 ts Black mustard seeds

Ginger-Tamarind Sauce

 

  • -Tamarind residue from above
  • 1/2 c -Boiling water
  • 1/2 ts Cornstarch
  • 1 tb Shredded fresh ginger

 

Directions

Put the tamarind in a nonmetallic bowl. Add 1/4 cup boiling water and let it soak for 30 minutes. Mash the pulp and extract as much juice from it as possible. Pour all liquid into a bowl, and save the fibrous residue for making the sauce.

Slit the eggplants lengthwise to within 3/4 inch of the stem end so that each eggplant remains in one piece.

Measure out the spices and place them right next to the stove in separate piles. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add the coriander, cinnamon, and cloves; fry for 15 more seconds. Stir in the coconut and cayenne pepper; continue frying, stirring, until lightly toasted (about 2 minutes). Turn off the heat and stir in the salt, tamarind liquid, and molasses, and mix well.

Stuff the eggplants with the spicy coconut mixture. Secure them by wrapping thread around them.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add mustard seeds. Keep a pot lid handy, as the seeds may spatter and fly all over. When the seeds stop spattering, add the eggplants in one layer. Fry the eggplants, turning them often, for 3 or 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium or medium low and cook them, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until they are soft and cooked through. Turn off heat. Transfer them to a serving platter, pour Ginger-Tamarind sauce over them, and serve immediately.

GINGER-TAMARIND SAUCE: Put tamarind residue in a nonmetallic bowl, add 1/2 cup boiling water, and let soak for 30 minutes. Mash the residue and extract as much tamarind essence as possible, squeezing it hard, into a bowl. Discard the fibrous residue.

Put tamarind water in a nonmetallic pan along with cornstarch, mix well and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in ginger shreds.

Note: For a hotter flavor, stir 4 chopped hot green chilies into sauce.

Lentil Stuffed Peppers

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2/3 c Red lentils
  • 1 inch piece ginger,=grated
  • 4 tb Vegetable oil
  • 1 tb Ground coriander
  • 4 md Green bell peppers
  • 1 1/4 c Water
  • 1 ts Cumin seeds
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 2 tb Chopped cilantro
  • 2 Green chilies

Directions

Rinse lentils & soak for 30 minutes. Heat half oil in skillet. Add peppers & cook for 3 to 5 minutes till golden brown. Drain & cool. Add remaining oil to pan. Cook cumin till they begin to pop. Add onions &  chilies & cook for 8 minutes. Stir in ginger & coriander. Drain lentils add to the pan with water. Stir well & cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until lthe liquid has evaporated. Stir in salt & pepper. Add cilantro. Cut tops off peppers & remove seeds. Stuff with the lentils & replace the tops. Stand in a baking dish. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes.

Bouranee Baunjan
(Eggplant With Yoghurt Sauce)

Serving Size : 6

Ingredients

  • 4 medium Eggplants
  • 1 Salt
  • 1 Oil
  • 2 Medium Onions sliced
  • 1 Green Pepper seeded & sliced
  • 2 large Ripe Tomatoes peeled
  • 1 Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Hot Chile Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 cups Chakah Drained Yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Salt to Taste

Directions

Cut the stems from the eggplants & leave peel. Slice into 1 cm pieces. Spread on a tray & sprinkle slices liberally with salt. Leave for 30 minutes, then dry well with paper towels. Pour enough oil into skillet with a lid, to cover base well. Fry eggplant until lightly browned on each side. Do not cook completely. Lift onto a plate. Add more oil as required for remaining slices.

As oil drains out of eggplant, return this to the pan & add onions. Fry gently till translucent. Remove to another plate. Place a layer of eggplant back into the pan. Top with some sliced onion, green pepper rings & tomato slices.

Repeat using remaining ingredients & adding a little salt & the chili between layers. Pour in any remaining oil from the eggplant. Add onion & water, cover & simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.

Combine chakah ingredients & spread half the sauce into base of serving dish. Top with vegetables, lifting eggplant gently to keep slices intact. Leave some of the juices in the pan. Top vegetables with the rest of the chakah & drizzle the remaining juices over it. Serve with flat bread.

Bonjan Salat (Spicy Eggplant Salad)

Ingredients

  • 3 medium eggplants
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt; (kosher salt) e
  • 1/4 cup corn oil
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot red chili flakes OR
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh chiles
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint; crushed

Directions

Slice the eggplants crosswise into 1 1/2 inch thick pieces. Sprinkle them with 2 t. coarse salt and let stand for 15 minutes. rinse eggplants under cold water, which removes the bitter taste, rinse, and dry well on a towel.

Heat the oil in a skillet and lightly brown eggplant slices over moderate heat for 3 minutes.

Remove and put into a serving bowl. Cool. Put the tomato sauce, pepper, chile, cinnamon, mint and 1/2 t. salt, if wanted, in a pan.

Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, which is long enough to integrate the flavors. Pour this over the eggplant; refrigerate until ready to use. The salad can remain in the refrigerator for several days. Serve cold or at room temperature. Yield: 8 servings – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Boolawnee
( Fried Leek Pastries )

Ingredients

***PASTRY***

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup cold water
    ***LEEK FILLING***
  • 2 whole leeks; (2 leeks=3 cups chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot chili pepper
  • 3 teaspoons oil
    ***TO FINISH***
  • oil; for deep frying

Directions

Sift flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the center and add water. Mix to a firm dough and knead for 5 minutes until elastic, dusting with more flour if necessary. Wrap in plastic film and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Cut most of the green tops from leeks, halve lengthwise and rinse well to remove all traces of soil between leaves. Remove roots and dry leeks with paper towels. Place flat on board, cut along length at 5 mm (1/4 inch) intervals than across to dice. Measure in cup measure and place in bowl. Add salt and chili pepper and knead with hand to soften leeks. Stir in oil.

Roll pieces of dough into balls the size of a large hazelnut and roll thinly into a 10 cm (4 inch) circle. Alternatively, roll out dough and cut into 10 cm (4 inch) rounds. Place about 2 teaspoons leek filling in center of circle, moisten pastry half way round edge of circle and fold pastry over filling. Press edge to seal well, and using the edge of a thimble, (the traditional method) or a coffee spoon make little crescent- shaped marks around the edge, or press with fork.

Fry 3 or 4 at a time in hot oil until golden brown, turning to brown evenly. Drain on paper towels and serve hot or warm. – - – - – - – - – -

Yield: 32 servings

Sabse Borani

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup lightly drained plain yogurt (drain about 1 hr – easiest method is to place the yogurt in a coffee filter and let stand)

Directions

Place damp spinach in a saucepan, cover and cook until wilted. Drain and squeeze to remove excess water. Heat oil in a large skillet, sauté onion at low heat until golden, add garlic and sauté briefly, then add spinach, and cook for a minute or two more. Let cool. In a bowl, smooth yogurt and add spinach mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Afghan Bread with Spinach

Ingredients

    • 1 loaf Afghan bread – (14 oz) (or 12-oz pkg pita loaves)
    • 3 tbl balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tbl olive oil
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 1/4 lb spinach rinsed, stemmed, and cut into thin strips
    • 1 cup canned fava beans rinsed, drained
    • 1 tbl minced garlic
    • Salt to taste
    • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
    • Zahtar to taste
    • 1 ct herb-flavored soy cream cheese -
    • 4 tbl toasted sesame seeds – (to 5)

    
    

Directions

Preheat oven to broil.

Open up and flatten Afghan bread loaf and slice into 2-ounce sections; there will be one leftover section. Sprinkle with water and heat under broiler for about 30 seconds until softened. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, take rinsed spinach with water still on leaves and place in large pot. Add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and steam spinach over medium heat about 5 minutes, or until wilted, taking care not to scorch. Remove from heat, press firmly with tongs to press out excess water and drain carefully. Chop spinach and separate into 6 equal-sized portions.

Mash fava beans coarsely with olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, zahtar, salt and pepper. Divide into 6 equal-sized portions.

Using about 2 tablespoons per serving, spread bread slices with soy cream cheese. Then spread with mashed fava beans, covering the cream cheese well, and top with equal portions of well-drained spinach – if not well-drained, spinach could turn bread soggy. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

Wine Suggestions: The slight acidity of the vinegar; the nuttiness of sesame oil, sesame seeds and zahtar; and the fresh taste of spinach match well with Isabel Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Comments: Afghan bread and the seasoning zahtar are sold at Middle Eastern markets and some well-stocked supermarkets. For the bread, you may substitute pita loavesuplan to use the two-ounce size, one loaf per serving. As an alternate to zahtar, use your favorite seasoning mix, one that has plenty of flavor. Dried fruits such as dates, raisins and apricots, plus hot tea, complement this simple, light meal.

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Comments

  1. Hi.
    Wonder if You can provide the recipe for the exceptionelly good Boolawnee with spinach. Cna’t find the recipe anywhere.
    With great thanks
    Lone

  2. Lindsay says:

    Ok I believe that afghan salsa is my favorite recipe here it is ,and also if you want to add this to your website I will email you a picture

    Recipe:
    1 tomato
    1/8 of a red and sweet onion so about 3 or 4 chunks
    2 tbs. of lemon juice
    1 tbs. of finely chopped parsley .
    1 cup of plain yoghurt
    next a 1/2 of a teaspoon of crushed or slices of red pepper
    now for the best part.
    2 tbs. of pistachios.

    Then blend until all ingredients are “chopped up” ( trust me you want it chunkier). :)

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