Mazaa Kabob House proudly presents authentic dishes and appetizers from Afghanistan, the cross roads of civilizations. Afghan cuisine, like the culture that has produced it, is a product of history, geography and the environment. Located at a strategic location between the East and the West, and having served as the gateway to India, the land known as Afghanistan today has always been an attractive and irresistible destination for travelers, explorers, conquerors, traders and marauders. At one time or another, one part of Afghanistan or another has been attacked, captured and held as territory by every powerful and greedy empire.
Trampling of this land started with Alexander the Great, continued with the Arabs, the Mongols, Tamerlane, the Mughals of India, the Persians and the British. It continues to this date the effects of which will not be known for many decades. Each of these contacts with other cultures has left an indelible mark on the culture and cuisine of Afghanistan. Any cuisine, naturally, is also influenced by the fauna and flora of the environment in which it develops. The vegetables, the grains, the animals, the birds and the availability of cooking fuel and technologies influence the cuisine. So, the Afghan cuisine is a showcase of life in Afghanistan; thrifty on meat and fats, independent of complicated cooking implements, making generous use of vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits. With the help of locally grown cumin, coriander seeds, red chili peppers and garlic as well as spices imported from India, the Afghan cuisine strikes the right balance between the very hot and spicy fare from India and the rather subtle and plain dishes of Persia, with influences from the central, western and southern Asia.
Some of the most popular Afghan dishes are: Palau: A rice dish made from fragrant, long grain Basmati rice which has been baked in a sauce of browned onions, meat and spices. (However it is also made without meat) Chalau: A white rice dish that is prepared with a generous dose of cumin. Badenjaan Burrani: A savory dish of sauteed eggplants and tomatoes served with a cold dressing of yoghurt, garlic and mint. Qorma Sabzi: Popeye would have killed for this delicious, savory dish of chopped spinach, green onions and fresh cilantro. No decent Afghan feast is without this dish. Many other cuisines offer a spinach dish, but the Afghan version is in a class by itself. Daal: Mung beans cooked in a subtle onion, garlic, ginger and tomato sauce; a gentler sister of the Indian daal with less spicing. Mantoo: An adaptation from the Mongol and Chinese cuisines, these succulent, mouthwatering, steamed dumplings still retain their East Asian name. (Man do in as far away as Korea.) Mantoo is a dish that is popular from Istanbul to Seoul and all points in between. We think the Afghan version is the best. Bolani: A turnover made from risen, flattened bread dough usually filled with potatoes or chives and cooked on a slightly oiled griddle. It is a delicious appetizer or a satisfying meal in itself.