Finally, after months of preparation, we are starting the Mega Marathon! If you are a regular to my blog, you must be aware that I am a regular at the Blogging Marathons held each month spear headed by Srivalli of Cooking for All Seasons. If not, here is a gist of what this Mega marathon is all about...
Every month a group of bloggers join together to blog on a topic 3 days a week. We also do 2 Mega marathons a year during which we blog on a specific theme for a whole month. Last April we did an Indian Food Odyssey
where we blogged dishes from the various Indian States.This time the theme is International dishes in alphabetical order under the theme - Around the World in 30 Days
For the first country with the alphabet A , I have chosen Afghanistan
. I have chosen soups and Salads as the theme though the others may / may not do a theme. You can read more about my International Blogging Marathon intro here
Afghanistan literally means ' The land of the Afgans'. Here are some trivia about this country...
- A landlocked country situated in Central Asia.
- The people are called Afgans and Afganis is the currency.
- The official language is Dari and Pashto though Turkmen,Uzbek and Persian are also spoken.
- It was under the British rule and celebrates its Independence day on August 19th.
- Main source of Income is from Agriculture.
- It is also rich in oil and natural gases.
- Buzkashi is the national game which means goat-grabbing. Two teams on horse backs try to catch a goat!
- Nawroz is the New year which is celebrated on March 21st which is the beginning of spring.
- Poetry occupies an important place in their culture.
The Cuisine of Afghanistan is influenced by its neighboring countries. Major ethnic groups - Pashtuns,Tajiks and Uzbecks lend their flavors and tastes to this cuisine.The use of Saffron, cardamom, black pepper etc sow that in a way Indian cuisine too influences the Afgan cuisine.
The people prefer a moderately spicy and moderate use of spices type of food.Fat is added to in large quantities so that it is becomes the fuel to withstand the harsh climate of the country.Mutton is widely used in most of the dishes and the people are fond of non vegetarian dishes..This cuisine makes use of dried fruits and nuts.The people like to entertain guests by serving the best available foods.
Some of the popular dishes of this cuisine include...
- Qabuli pulao- An aromatic rice made with carrots and raisins and served with lamb.Other ice varities are also popular.
- Kebabs- These are mostly served with naan breads.
- Mantu - Steamed dumplings with onion and beef.
- Shorma - Soups
- Different varieties of Naan breads
- Khameerbob- A native pasta dish that is made especially on festive days.
- Yogurt and whey is also used in large quantities
- Kofta - Meatballs
- Chai or tea is the preferred drink/ beverage
Before moving on to the recipe, here comes my favorite part of the post...
Behind the scene
As I was plating this dish Lil angel stood by my side watching me at work. She said it was similar to thukpa
! I was really thrilled to hear that she remembered that dish!She had 2 helpings of the dish and lil dude who loved noodles and lentils said -' tay-t'
,The lil one hasn't started speaking clearly and yet I knew it was his slang for 'tasty' . And this was the first dish made for this BM.
Now to the Aush recipes...
Adapted from various sources
Noodles- 1 small pack
Cooked kidney beans - 1/4 cup
Cooked Chickpea- 1/4 cup
Carrot- 1, cut into circles
Potato-1, peeled and cubed
Garlic-2 cloves, minced
Tomato puree- 1 cup
Vegetable stock-5 cups or more
Turmeric- a pinch
Coriander powder- 1 teaspoon
Chili powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Pepper powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Coriander to garnish
Yogurt + minced garlic mixture - to serve along with soup garnishes with Dried mint leaves
Oil- 1 teaspoon
Heat oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic and saute till the onion is soft. Add the potato, carrot and the vegetable stock.
Add the coriander powder, turmeric powder and pepper powder.
Add salt, tomato puree and red chili powder .Mix and bring to boil.
Add the noodles and cook till it is soft. Add the chickpeas and mix gently.Add the kidney beans and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve hot.
Sometimes it is served with the yogurt mixture on the side so that each one can add as much / as little as they want...
- Meatballs are generally added to this soup for the non vegetarian version.
- A handful of chopped dill is added in the last stage of cooking. I do not get it here so skipped it.
- Some add spinach for extra nutrition.
- Use water or seasoning cube instead of veg stock
I also made this Potato Salad
as a part of this series...Do take a look....