Jeja (my mom) has a reputation of being an excellent cook within the Bay Area Afghan community. I wouldn’t dare share any recipe that wouldn’t pass muster with her. In this blog I share my family's home cooking recipes for your Western kitchen. The blog is my way to educate the world about Afghan people and the delicious food of Afghanistan. It's also my effort to keep in touch with my cultural heritage as I raise my two daughters in San Francisco, California.
My research for this blog has not only strengthened my relationship with my mom, it has also given me great appreciation and understanding of Afghan people.
What has been most surprising to me is how food brings people across all cultures together.
Once I was at my daughter's class pot-luck -- I introduced myself to the math teacher. She looked at my name tag and said, "I know you, I cook from your blog -- my mom sometimes adds Indian spices..."
I am alway thrilled a to meet a reader but, the ones that take my recipes and make it their own is even more exciting to me.
In this blog the recipes have been tested by Afghans and non Afghans. I always retain the delicious flavors of Afghan food but simplify the cooking so it's accessible to experienced and novice cooks.
Padron chilis are small and relatively mild. I used them in this recipe to create my version of an Afghan chili sauce, a condiment commonly served with kebabs or as an accompaniment to other side dishes. I don’t particularly like super spicy foods, but I love a little zing of pepper alongside milder dishes. This sauce is designed to brighten the flavors of rice, meat or Qorma dishes without overpowering the food. Use sparingly.
Afghan Inspired Spicy Chili Sauce
2 pints padron chilis (around 22 peppers), ends off and seeds removed
3 cloves peeled garlic
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons roughly chopped walnuts
½ cup white vinegar
Put the peppers, garlic, salt, black pepper, walnuts, and vinegar in the food processor and use the pulse button to grind the peppers and mix the ingredients. Pulse a couple of times, wipe the sides, check the consistency and pulse more. The sauce looks best and ends up with a pleasing crunch if you don’t over blend it. If you prefer things really spicy, use a hotter chili like jalapeños.
Serve in a small bowl and use a small amount to eat with whatever you are making for dinner.
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