Good Question: Afghan Cooking

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Dear Kitchen Readers,

This weekend I had the pleasure of dining at a beautiful Afghani restaurant and truly fell in love with the flavors and spices. It was one of the best meals I'd ever had and has motivated me to learn to make this ethnic cuisine in my kitchen.

Do you think I may be biting off more than I can chew being that the most ethnic cooking I do is some of my mom's Mediterranean dishes. Also, any suggestions on cookbooks or other good resources?


Dear Lisa,

Indeed, the flavors in Afghan cuisine are wonderful and there's more to this kind of cooking than kebabs. Definitely don't be intimidated; just be prepared to search a bit for some of the ingredients you might need that may not already be in your pantry.

The book, Silk Road Cooking by Najmieh Batmanglij is a wonderful introduction to the cooking of the middle east, including specific recipes from Afghanistan.

For a book dedicated to Afghan cuisine, try Afghan Cuisine: Cooking for Life a Collection of Afghan Recipes (and Other Favorites) for the Novice Afghan and Non-Afghan Cook by Nafisa Sekandari.

Also, has a cooking page with a few recipes to get you started.

Have fun with it, and let us know how your experiments go.

(photo: UNDP Afghanistan)

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.