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Cuisine - Middle Eastern

This is the staff of life for all classes of Afghans, whether city dwellers or nomads. The basic ingredient is wheat—red hard winter wheat is preferred, but any local wheat will do.

Making your own phyllo can be a time consuming project, but fortunately the dough you can purchase ready-made works equally well in this recipe. The filling can be pureed or left with some texture. If you do puree the filling, do it before adding nuts and eliminate the raisins. These little packages can also be dusted with powdered sugar before serving. The trick to working with phyllo is to work very quickly and to keep the dough covered when not using so that it does not dry out.

Chicken is not an everyday dish in Afghanistan, as few are raised, and they are only served at very special meals. Parts can be used, or an entire chicken.

There are many versions of this dish, which has its origins in the Middle East. Increase the cayenne amount to ½ teaspoon for a more fiery dish. Fresh pomegranate juice gives the sauce a rich, fruity flavor.

'Place Potato latkes on a serving dish and spoon a spoonful of Cream cheese on to each. Slice medallions of the fillet and place 2 medallions onto each potato latke. Serve hot.'

I discovered the most delicious radishes in Kabul and developed a minor obsession with this spicy ingredient, which lead me to develop the following recipe:

Here is one of our favorite ways to cook rice. The style is from the Middle East, but the chile transforms the dish into a favorite New Mexican accompaniment. Believe it or not, some people serve salsa over this rice!

Desserts are not served too often at home, and are made with locally grown fruits, often sun-dried. They are usually served for guests and at special dinners, and are not part of the everyday menu.

This sauce is served over cooked rice or vegetable dishes. There is a lot of variety in each cook's ingredients, so this is a widely used, basic sauce.

Typical of the Middle East, there are many variations on this dish, some with carrots instead of potatoes and some lacking tomatoes. Chopped fresh green chiles can be substituted for the cayenne if you wish.
 

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