Winner of prestigious CBC Bookie Award

Your comments are welcome!

By Humaira

Shortly after my daugther Aria was born, fourteen years ago, I started a book club to create an incentive to read someting beside mind numbing picture books.  The women I recruited were moms I met at a mommy-baby gathering. Every month we bundled up our bundles of joy, and met at someone's home to discuss the book.  

Once the babies started crawling, and walking, we left them with Dad and met at restaurants for a coveted night of adult conversation and relaxed dining. Unfotunately five years ago the book club dissolved when driving carpools trumped reading.

Now, I live vicariously through friends who are still part of a book club or, women who write asking about Afghan dishes they can make for their discussion of Khaled Hosseini's books.

I love themed gatherings and nothing can be more fun than turning a book discussion into a cultural experience. So I decided to created a menu which will transport you into the world of Abdullah, Pari, Nila and all the wonderful characters in Khaled's most recent book, "And The Mountains Echoed."

When "And The Mountains Echoed" was first released, Khaled shared with readers of this blog his favorite foods.

Khaled's family is from Herat, a province in Western Afghanistan that has delicious regional dishes which I've yet to try: Qolor toroosh, Ishkana, Kichiri gosht landi, and Pati mash.

To this day Jeja, my mom, talks about the delicious foods Khaled's mom used to make when our families lived near each other in the Bay Area during the 80's.  Jeja is not one to give fellow cooks undeserved recognition. 

Although this menu does not have recipes from Herat, I have chosen traditonal dishes that are complementary, travel well and are perfect for pot lucks.  I hope you will experience the wonders of Afghanistan through Khaled's beautiful words and my recipes.


Afghan women picnicing Photo: Lynsey Addario

"And The Mountains Echoed"

An Afghan Feast For Your Gathering


Laghataq, Creamy eggplant dip with pita chips

Bolani, Afghan potato, scallion bread 


Lawang, Turmeric braised chicken

Sabzi, Slow cooked spinach

Kadu, Braised butternut squash

Challaw, Afghan rice

Salata, Afghan salad

Warm pita bread (optional)


Halwa e Zardak, Rosewater carrot pudding

Black raisins, almonds and walnuts in separate bowls


Chai, Afghan cardamom tea

Your comments are welcome!