The food of Afghanistan reflects its ethnic and geographic diversity. The climate of Afghanistan allows a variety of crops throughout the seasons. Coriander, garlic, onions, tomatoes, potatoes and fruit are widely available and form an important part of the diet. Milk from cows and goats is used for making yogurt, which is added to many dishes. Meat-filled dumplings, kebabs and qormas (stew casseroles) are typical Afghan foods. Most meals are accompanied by naan, an oval shaped bread baked in a tandoori oven.
The Bamian Restaurant offers Afghan cuisine at 5634 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia. The restaurant is open daily from 11am to 10:30pm. The Bamian restaurant provides a family atmosphere featuring Halal food. The restaurant attracts a large Muslim clientele, and the dining room fills quickly after sunset during Ramadan. A typical meal consists of an appetizer, the main entrée and a dessert. The appetizer may be a bowl of soup such as mashawa or some meat-filled dumplings topped with a sauce with chick peas.
The Mashawa soup has a variety of beans and herbs topped with meat sauce and spicy yogurt.
The mantu dumplings are filled with ground beef and scallions. They are topped with homemade yogurt, meat sauce and mint.
The Sambosas are fried pastries stuffed with potatoes, chickpeas and herbs. They are served with a spicy, slightly acid green sauce.
The chicken thigh dish is typical of how the kabobs are served. Pieces of boneless chicken thighs marinated in herbs and spices are broiled on a skewer and placed around a serving of Basmati rice with a garnish of lemon, tomato and sliced onions.
The lamb pilaf, or Qaubili Palau, consists of seasoned Basmati rice with tender chunks of lamb under a cover of blanched sweet carrot strips and raisins, served with meat sauce (qurma) on the side.
The sauce for the qurma or qorma at Bamian is based on tomatoes. Although the sauce looks like an Italian pasta sauce, it has different spices. The word "qurma" corresponds to the word "korma" of Indian and Pakistani origin. A korma is a dish of meat or vegetables braised with water, stock and yogurt.
The baqlawa is like the Greek baklava, just with a different spelling and not so intensely sweet.
Call the Bamian restaurant at (703)820-7880. Find more information about the restaurant at its web site: www.bamianrestaurant.com/