In my last post I asked you all what foods tested your patience. It seems that pistachios, roasting, and pomegranates are at the top of the list! Such little buggers. Patience in a bigger picture, to me, is something that teaches a person that the universe is not at our beck and call. That sometimes we have to wait to get what we want, and sometimes it never comes at all. It’s an exercise for the ego.
Backtracking to when my parents visited in December, I thought I’d share some snapshots of my neighborhood.
My parents came to visit during the end of the holiday season, and on Christmas Eve (it’s been awhile) I wanted to make something heartwarming. I had saved a recipe for “Fennel, Pepper, and Saffron Stew with Garlic Toast” awhile ago, and it seemed like the right occasion.
Manchego could be the name over a lover, don’t you think? Francisco Manchego De La Cruz.
These cookies really bring me back with the smell of spices and molasses sweetness. They’re one of those things that get better if you let them sit for a few days (another test of patience?)
On their visit they stayed at a place that was close to many restaurants. I’m talking blocks of just restaurants. They had found a little gem when they ventured off to try Afghani food for the first time. They kept raving about it, and had me curious as I had never tried Afghani food; nor had I even imagined it. It’s funny how certain exotic cuisines have become popular over here in the States, but there are so many more out there to try. If you can’t travel out of the country to try them, then the place to try them is in the city of New York.
Ariana is a family-owned restaurant that has been serving this city for over 20 years. The owner is very friendly and funny. We were there late and one of the last customers before the kitchen closed, so the owner was able to have a meal as well. He didn’t feel like finishing it so he offered it to us. It was all vegetables so I excitedly accepted! I loved how unpretentious the atmosphere was. He also decorated the whole place himself with tapestries and various photographs telling stories about where he comes from.
It added a mild sweet taste to a traditionally bitter tasting tea.
“Afghan homemade dumpling filled with steamed fresh spinach, Afghan cheese & other spices, served with yogurt sauce“
These were so tasty! And the yogurt sauce was refreshing and tangy… keeping it from tasting heavier.
”Chunks of tenderly cooked & seasoned beef or lamb with a mound of brown basmati rice, delicately seasoned with thin strips of carrots, raisins, almonds & pistachios“
If there had was no lamb I would’ve taken a bite right into that. This is something I want to remake at home (and is very simple!). The sound of it made me think of a fusion between ‘carrot halwa‘ dessert and ‘kashmiri naan‘.
Oh my goodness. Both vegetable dishes were delicious. I noticed that yogurt is used a lot in Afghani cuisine. It makes normally pungent dishes a bit more uplifting! I love when food makes your taste buds experience various tastes. Also, none of the food I tried was spicy, which was interesting. Usually, in the States when one hears the word ‘curry’ or thinks of foreign foods people think: spicy. In fact, it’s usually noted that Westerners can’t handle the spiciness of the East. But I didn’t taste any here. It was nice to try something totally new.
She made friends with an albino rat. At first, both didn’t know how to react to each other–except for maybe a “what are you?“
What’s a cuisine you’d be curious to try, but don’t normally see?
That’s actually one of the reasons I love to cook. For instance, I’ll think of a country and wonder what’s usually eaten for breakfast there… and sometimes it can be totally different depending on the region of the country. Then I try to find a recipe and create it at home. Close my eyes and pretend I’m there… till I finally get to go!