Afghani kabuli pulao and chapli kabob

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Most of my childhood was spent eating rice dishes consisting of aromatic Indian spices – particularly biryani. If there is one thing I can’t live without, it’s chicken biryani. If you have ever had it, you know what I mean by full of flavour and spice – like a ka-pow to your taste buds. When I moved to Toronto, my family and friends encouraged me to try the famous Bamiyan Kabob restaurant, which focused on Afghani foods. This was my first time trying Afghan food, but I became instantly hooked. Although the rice is flavourful, it does not contain the same spice level as the biryani I am used to. My favourite combination is their chapli kabobs with the rice and salata (salad) they serve on the side. Perhaps what I loved most about the Afghani chapli was it’s similarity in taste to the Pakistani chapli kabobs I grew up eating. After eating at this restaurant for a number of years, I decided to give this recipe a try at home. The resulting recipe is something I developed as a quick fix to fulfill that Bamiyan craving. Try it out and let me know what you think!

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Indian spiced chana masala

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Traditionally, the way my mother cooks chana masala is different from the Indian style dish. People often have different variations of this dish, including a curry or creamy version. Although I quite enjoy the dish with more gravy in it, my father being from India influenced my style of cooking to the more ‘authentic’ way. In India, a large majority of the people are vegetarians, which is why you will find many recipes involving chana (chickpeas), lentils, and other legumes. Personally, I am not a vegetarian but chana and rajma (beans) are on my top favourites when it comes to Indian/Pakistani cuisine. I hope you enjoy this simple and aromatic recipe!

Chana masala can be served with plain basmati rice or naan bread. Yogurt, and chopped chillies and coriander are added on the side or as garnish. In the photos you will find me serving this with my home-ground gluten-free oat flour roti. I will be adding a separate recipe on how to make these healthy and delicious rotis – stay tuned.

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