I got inspiration this week from a fascinating cookbook called The Silk Road Gourmet, Volume One: Western and Southern Asia, by Laura Kelley. It gives an overview of the food of every country between The Republic of Georgia and Sri Lanka, along with several recipes. The book allows you to see how food morphs along the journey from north to south, and to see the influences and character of each region. Tonight we’re serving a chickpea and onion salad, spice rubbed lamb chops, and rice with sour plums and oranges, all inspired by the chapter on Afghanistan, one of Iran’s neighbors to the east. I can’t wait to dig further into this book! Kelley is raising funds to write Volume Two of the Silk Road Gourmet, which will cover the cuisines and cultures of Central Asia, the Himalayas, and the Indo Pacific. If you pick up this book and enjoy it as much as I do, help her write more of this valuable material.
As usual, we’re at Porsena Extra Bar, 21 E. 7th Street in Manhattan, between 2nd and 3rd. We serve from 5:30-10 pm, no reservations. Questions? Call Porsena at 212 228 4923.
Lakh Lakh Menu for Monday February 9
Sabzi Khordan, herb and cheese plate with barbari bread. Traditionally eaten by tucking herbs, feta, radishes, and walnuts into the bread and folding it into a rustic sandwich.
Borani chogondar, yogurt with beets and mint. A condiment meant to be eaten with rice, stew, kebab, and other foods
Sambuseh, crispy phyllo triangles stuffed with mushrooms, walnuts, and panir cheese, with nigella seeds and spicy tomato coriander sauce
Arishta, brothy soup with herbed lamb meatballs, handmade noodles, fresh cilantro and dill
Nokhod, Afghani chickpea and red onion salad with cumin
Afghani style lamb chops rubbed with black cardamom and cloves
Meygu kebab, shrimp kebab with paprika, saffron, and lime
Polo ba aloo, Afghani rice with sour plum, orange, and almond
Shami-ye mowz, sweet banana cardamom patties with rose water whipped cream
Cocktail: spiced rhubarb sharbat with Prosecco