While Americans were fighting the crowds in the mall to take advantage of the after Christmas sales, returning gifts and window shopping, my Afghan family was at home eating various Afghan delicacies with my cousins who were visiting from Los Angeles. The LA cousins had heard of a an Afghan restaurant that makes the best Faloodah, an Afghan ice cream which they were determined to visit.
After a hearty dinner my cousin Hawa, convinced all of us to go on a 2 hour roundtrip adventure in search of this ice cream. I must note that it was 40 degrees, pouring rain and around 8:30pm. After very little arm twisting, nine of us put on our winter coats, loaded into 3 cars and drove from Fremont to Concord in search of Amoo Restaurant. I was skeptical at first but once we got to the deserted strip mall in Concord I was convinced that this trip was a waste of time. We received a warm welcome from the owner who kept the restaurant open for us. We ordered 8 Faloodah and one Afghan ice cream without the extra toppings.
Faloodah is what Katie and I call the Afghan Sundae: shaved ice, topped with creamy cardamom flavored Afghan ice cream, rose water, vermicelli noodles and plently of Afghan cream called qaymaq finished with a generous topping of pitsachios. At least that is what I think goes into it. The owner of the restaurant wouldn't give his secret recipe away nor would he let me take his photo while scooping the ice cream out of a large bucket, nestled in a bed of ice.
The ice cream is made on site just like at the ice cream parlors I remember in Afghanistan. There they would make the ice cream by adding all the ingredients -- cream, sugar, and cardamom -- into a bucket placed in a bed of ice. Then the workers would take turns twisting the bucket side to side until the ingredients turned into a creamy ice cream.
I thought the Faloodah at Amoo was good but I am not sure if it was worth the drive to Concord. We could have driven five minutes to Salang Restaurant in Fremont or 2 minutes to Afghan Village in Newark to get an equally delicious Faloodah. Katie and I plan to have a Faloodah making workshop. We'll share the recipe when we do!
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