Parwana: Recipes and Stories from an Afghan Kitchen by Durkhanai Ayubi

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Stuffed flatbread (Bolani)

    • michalow on February 17, 2021

      These are easy to prepare, and although I didn't love them with the pumpkin filling, I will try them again with one of the others. I wasn't sure what "knead until firm" meant, so I just kneaded until the dough held together, which didn't take long. The recipe calls for a 10-minute second rise, but I let some go longer (closer to an hour) and I thought they were much better -- unlike those with the 10-minute rise, they puffed up a bit while cooking and yielded a nicer final texture.

  • Pumpkin flatbread stuffing (Kadoo bolani filling)

    • michalow on February 17, 2021

      I used canned pumpkin and this was fine, but not that interesting.

  • Rice with carrots and raisins (Kabuli palaw)

    • michalow on February 15, 2021

      I made this without the lamb and it is really delicious. The recipe advises to just leave the lamb out and use vegetable stock for a vegetarian version, but the adaptation is not quite that straightforward and I wish there had been better instructions for this. I ended up sautéing the onions, rice, and spices together and cooking like a standard rice pilaf. For the topping, I fried carrots, raisins, and almonds together (adding sequentially) and skipped the sugar and additional cardamom. Used way less oil and salt all around.

    • shaziahashmi on December 29, 2020

      One of the main reasons I wanted this book was to find a recipe for kabuli pulao. Loved this but I think we will reduce the amount of rice to 2.5 or 2 cups next time. Halved the amount of oil for the carrots and raisins which worked well.

    • Etrnalhope on September 13, 2021

      I really wanted the lamb to come through, but it didn't. Could have been a problem with the lamb and not the recipe. This makes a TON of rice, although tasty. I followed the recipe instructions for oil ::covers eyes::. I'm not sure it added that much to the dish because the oil is neutral tasting. I'd probably follow what others said and reduce oil in the future.

  • Lentil curry (Dahl)

    • michalow on February 15, 2021

      I don't know that I'll seek this out again over other red lentil dals in the future, but it is very good and satisfying. The recipe says it makes four servings and I would say that's four full meals. If you're planning to serve with other dishes, this makes quite a lot. I used significantly less oil and salt than the recipe called for and it was plenty. Best with a hit of lemon.

    • gamulholland on October 05, 2021

      I’m in agreement with the other(s) who said there’s too much liquid. I would follow the package directions for the basmati rice and use less liquid, instead of scooping it off at the end like I did. But it was very tasty overall.

    • jungliemonkey on October 30, 2020

      Came out far too liquid for me... However, the flavour was pretty good. Will try again, cooking the lentils for slightly less time and adding about half the final amount of water.

  • Cauliflower curry (Golpi)

    • michalow on February 21, 2021

      Easy and delicious. I used about half the sugar and salt and a fraction of the oil called for in the recipe.

  • Chicken kebab (Kebabeh degee morgh)

    • SuzyP on December 20, 2020

      Recipe can be found in the BBC GoodFood December 2020

  • Plain white rice (Challaw)

    • SuzyP on December 20, 2020

      Recipe can be found in the BBC GoodFood December 2020

    • jungliemonkey on November 05, 2020

      Tasty, but quite 'involved' for rice... Could perhaps do with slightly less water and oil.

  • Green bean curry (Fasoolia)

    • jungliemonkey on November 07, 2020

      Tasty, but very oily. I get that this is probably how it's meant to be, but it's too much for me... Might try again with half (or less!) of the oil and double the yoghurt.

  • Braised pumpkin with yogurt dressing (Kadoo borani)

    • jungliemonkey on October 27, 2020

      Super-easy and quick to make, and delicious too! My first from this book and very impressed with the result. I used butternut squash and sliced the chillis into thin lengthways strips.

    • shaziahashmi on December 29, 2020

      Tried to sub acorn squash for pumpkin - wouldn't recommend.

  • Chickpea curry (Nakhot)

    • jungliemonkey on November 05, 2020

      Pretty good, but very oily! Even if that is correct, I think I would try with about half the oil next time.

    • Etrnalhope on September 13, 2021

      I should have read the note below before making this. I had the same experience. Pretty good, but oily. I'm not convinced the oil adds much here since it's a neutral oil, at least nothing that couldn't be achieved through less of it.

  • Kidney bean curry (Lobeyah)

    • jungliemonkey on February 01, 2021

      Used half the oil and the beans needed to be cooked for longer than stated in the recipe, but very tasty - will try again!

  • Steamed dumplings: vegetarian tomato (Mantu 2)

    • jenburkholder on September 09, 2021

      These were tasty, if unsurprisingly laborious and perhaps not ultimately worth the effort. The filling was good, but a touch bitter - that may have been my cabbage, however. The dough was lovely, smooth and obliging, and didn't dry out so quickly that this amateur dumpling-maker had to hurry. The sauce I was unconvinced by - the yogurt was a great accompaniment, but the vegetarian tomato sauce didn't add a lot in my opinion. Perhaps the lamb is better; certainly it's closer to traditional. The folding was unintuitive, but some of them turned out quite attractively nonetheless. Probably wouldn't repeat, but glad to have made them. Oh, I also froze them, which worked fine. The steaming time is way off, needs less than half the amount given.

  • Vegetarian tomato sauce

    • jenburkholder on September 09, 2021

      This wasn't bad, per se, but it didn't quite do it for me.

  • Steamed dumplings: lamb (Mantu 1)

    • Etrnalhope on September 13, 2021

      I cheated and used wonton wrappers--the white ones, not yellow. Turned out delicious! Nice combo of flavors. The index finger holes nicely catch sauce. Even though it seems just like a garnish in reading the recipe, I feel like the dried mint made a big difference. I used goat instead of lamb. I'm not sure if it was because of the size of the wonton wrappers, but 1 tsp filling felt like too little, I used closer to 1 TBSP.

  • Braised eggplant with yogurt dressing (Banjaan borani)

    • Etrnalhope on September 13, 2021

      I've made this a couple times and it was a huge hit both times. Even though the eggplant is deep fried, the eggplant doesn't appear to absorb that much of the oil. I'm left with much of the oil that was there before, which I use for other things. I find that the 10 min. simmer isn't long enough to transform the tomatoes into anything resembling sauce. Both times, I uncovered and boiled to reduce the liquid until the tomatoes no longer held their shape. I'd describe it as very chunky sauce. Good complement to Kabuli Palaw from the same cookbook. I also like it to accompany the Adas Polo recipe from Bottom of the Pot--I might prefer that combo.

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Reviews about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    Often we are told not to judge a book by its cover. In the case of Parwana we can do just that. The gorgeous cover is a true reflection of this book’s content.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1760524352
  • ISBN 13 9781760524357
  • Published Sep 01 2020
  • Page Count 256
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Murdoch

Publishers Text

Parwana tells one familys story of a region long afflicted by war, but with much more at its heart.

Author Durkhanai Ayubis parents, Zelmai and Farida Ayubi, fled Afghanistan with their young family in 1987, at the height of the Cold War. When their family-run restaurant Parwana opened its doors in Adelaide, Australia in 2009, their vision was to share an authentic piece of the Afghanistan the family had left behind, a country rich in culture, family memories infused with Afghanistans traditions of generosity and hospitality.

These recipes have been in the family for generations and include rice dishes, curries, meats, dumplings, Afghan pastas, sweets, drinks, chutneys and pickles, soups and breads. Some are celebratory special dishes while most are day to day dishes. Each has a story to tell.

With beautiful food and location photography, this compilation offers valuable insights into the origins and heritage of Afghan cuisine and a fresh perspective to one of the oldest civilizations.

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