Afghanistan…

Friday, July 15 –

Simply put, this dinner knocked my socks off. I made the marinade for the chicken and put it in the fridge to soak. Then I moved on to making the sweet potato filling and roasting the eggplant mixture (all of the recipes and where I got them from are on the recipe page). I halved the amount of sweet potato to the amount of herbs and seasonings, the rest of all of the amounts stayed completely the same. I served the eggplant dip and the yogurt sauce in bowls with the sweet potato pockets on the side. Then I served the chicken with rice to go with it all.

We both thought that the chicken was good, but not great. It was good enough that I would make it again, though. The eggplant mixture had a good texture and a good flavor (honestly I liked it better than most of the baba ganoush I’ve had). But the sweet potato pockets with the garlic yogurt sauce, that was simply amazing. My mouth might even be watering just a little right now thinking about them. The combination of sweet potato, cilantro, green onion, and sauce was epic. I made more the next night to go with the left overs of chicken and eggplant, simply because they were the meal’s shining centerpiece.

All in all, this was a very, very good beginning to this project. I have high hopes for learning more fun new recipes and combinations of flavors.

Chicken and marinade

Skewers before cooking

Finished skewers

Eggplant mix after roasting

Finished pockets and dipping sauces

Afghanistan

(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.afghancooking.net)

Roasted Eggplant Spread with Garlic Yogurt

  • 1 eggplant, peeled, cut into 1/3- inch slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • Yogurt sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat.  Add the garlic and turmeric, turn the heat to low and sauté for a few minutes.  Don’t let the garlic burn.  Add the tomato sauce, coriander, paprika, salt, pepper and broth.  Stir, turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Layer the eggplant and pepper slices in a 9×13 inch roasting pan.  Pour the sauce over the vegetables, moving the eggplant and peppers around a bit so they are lightly coated with the sauce.  Set in the oven to bake. After 25 minutes, stir the vegetables around in the pan to coat them with the juices.  Continue to bake another 30 minutes or until the eggplant is very tender.  Transfer the contents of the roasting pan to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.  Serve warm or cold with Yogurt Sauce spooned over the top and pita bread cut into wedges and toasted.

Yogurt sauce

  • ¾ cup Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 tsp. dried garlic
  • 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt

In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients.

Sweet Potato and Cilantro Turnover:  Bolani

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped scallions, white and light green parts
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • Plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roast the sweet potatoes in the oven until very tender.  The time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes.

Cut the potatoes in half, scoop out the flesh and put it into a medium bowl.  Discard the skin.  Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the sweet potatoes along with the cilantro, scallions, and salt.  Mash with a fork until thoroughly combined.   You can make this ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until ready to use.

In a small dish, mix together the flour and water to make a paste.  Set a tortilla on your work surface and spread ¼ cup of the potato mixture on the tortilla, leaving a half-inch border around the rim.  Using your finger spread a small amount of the paste around the edge of half of the tortilla.  Fold the tortilla over, encasing the potatoes into a half circle.  Press the two sides of the tortillas together firmly to form a tight seal.

Heat the remaining ¼ cup of oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Brown the bolani, two at a time, until golden on both sides.  The bolani should sizzle when they hit the pan.   Lay cooked bolani on a paper towel.  These are best served warm but are tasty at room temperature.

Serve with plain yogurt.

Lemony Chicken Kebabs with Turmeric

  • 2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice mixed with 1 tbsp. water
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • wooden or metal skewers

Instructions:

Cut chicken into 2-inch chunks and put in a bowl.  Puree remaining ingredients in a food processor.  Pour marinade over the chicken and mix thoroughly.  Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least three hours, preferably overnight.

Put 4 to 5 pieces of chicken on each skewer.   Grill over a medium flame until done.  Serves 6

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About devouringworldbites

A girl on a mission to cook, eat, and write about the world, one country at a time. View all posts by devouringworldbites

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