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Afghani Cuisines

Like every other cuisine in the world the Afghani cuisine has its own set of influences, ingredients, and a diversity of distinct dishes. The Afghan cuisine is for the most part based on the nation''s chief crops which are cereals like wheat, maize, barley and rice. Supplementary to these staples are dairy products, various nuts, native vegetables, and fresh and dried fruits. Afghanistan is well known for its grapes. The culinary specialties of Afghanistan reflect its ethnic and geographic diversity. Though the Afghani cuisine has likenesses with nearby countries, the cuisine is irrefutably unique.It is considered to be one of the most flavorsome of cuisines.The nation''s multi cultural capital, Kabul, has customarilypresented a wide variety of cooking styles and ingredients to its citizens. The most prominent Afghan food items known today were undoubtedly first served by urban residents. Most food and trade recipes were traditionally handed down through the generations,although, late in the 19th or early in 20th century, a collection of formal gastronomy documents was circulated by Afghanistan''s government and these documents included preparation, food history, cookware fabrication, and dining manners.Afghanistan''s varied climate allows for acopiousness of crops all through the seasons. Widely available in all parts of Afghanistan and used in preparing foods are fresh yogurt, coriander, garlic, onions, spring onion, tomatoes, potatoes, and fruit. Fresh and dried, fruits and vegetables form an important part of the Afghan diet. This is especially prominent in the rural areas. Afghanistan produces a diversity of extraordinary fruits most notably grapes, pomegranates, apricots, berries, and plums. Dried nuts and seeds are very popular and plentiful in Afghanistan. They include walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and pine. A variety of oranges which are known locally as malta is grown in the warm climate of theNangarhar province. In the temperate climate of the province, olive groves once stood for the nation''s use of olive oil. The Wardak province is well known for its delicious apples and apricots, and the Kandahar region for its fabled pomegranates. The Afghani cuisine includes herbs and spices like mint, saffron, coriander, cilantro, cardamom, and black pepper. Lamb and chicken are the favored meats. The emphasis, of the Afghani cuisine, is well balanced and contrasting tastes, and the food is neither spicy nor bland. Of Afghan bread, there are chiefly three types.Naan,whichliterally means bread, isthin, long and oval shaped and is mainly a white or whole wheat blend. It is topped with poppy, sesame, and nigella seeds or some combination of these. An expensive variation of naan can be made with all white flour and a helping of oil.Obi Nonis an Uzbek style bread which isshaped like a disc and is thicker than naan. It is usually made with white flour. Lastly, lavash is avery thin bread which issimilar to the lavash elsewhere. It is usually used as plating for meats and stews. The accompaniments for Afghan breads may include torshiwhich arevarious pickled fruits and vegetables mixed with vinegar and spices; and chutney which is dish ofpepper sauces which isusually made with vinegar, fresh cilantro, chili peppers, and sometimes tomato paste.The king of all foods in Afghanistan, however, is the rice dishes. The rice dishes of the Afghani cuisine are considered the best part of any meal. As evidenced in the sheer number of rice dishes in their cookbooks, the Afghan royalty spent much time on the preparation and invention rice dishes. The types of rice prepared includes white rice, especiallyextra long grains such as Basmati, which isfirst parboiled, then drained, and finally baked in an oven with some oil, butter, and salt. It creates fluffy rice with each grain separated, and this is served mainly with korma which are stews or casseroles. This is called chalow. Ifchalow is cooked along withmeatand stock, qorma, herbs, or a combination blended in before the baking process,it creates elaborate colors, flavors, and aromas for which some rices are named after. Caramelized sugar is also occasionally used to give the rice a rich brown color. Examples of which includes: palaowhich is the national dish with meat and stock added, topped with fried raisins, slivered carrots, and pistachios; YakhniPalaowhich is a dish with meat and stock added andresults in brown rice

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