We loved having Chef Shaista Amani back for another Afghan Chow!
Tonight’s meal starts with Afghan-style samosas — fried, triangular pastries filled with chicken, Afghan spices, onions, garlic, and ginger. Served with an Afghan Green Chutney made from cilantro, green tomatoes, chillies, garlic, and vinegar.
Vegetarian Samosas: lentils, spinach, onions, garlic, ginger, and Afghan spices.
Gluten-free: Chicken Chapli Kabab
Mung Bean Rice Pulao
Sella rice cooked with Moong Dal (mung beans), onions, garlic, and Afghan spices. Served with Chat Salad — tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumber, red onions, fresh coriander leaves, mint, homemade yogurt, and chaat masala.
Afghan Eggplant with Yogurt Sauce
Melt-in-your-mouth eggplants that have been fried until they’re velvety and tender are sautéed in a flavorful sauce of tomatoes, garlic, ginger. and green chillies. Served with homemade yogurt topping and Afghan naan.
Lamb Kebab Salad
Sliced Lamb marinated with lime and garlic, grilled, and mixed with fried potatoes, onions, tomatoes, fresh coriander, mint leaves, bell pepper, and shish kebab spice.
Vegetarian: Sabzi Palak — spinach cooked with onions, garlic, Afghan spices, green peas, and green chillies.
A classic sub-continent sweet that emerges every Eid in Afghanistan, this dessert consists of fried wheat vermicelli simmered in milk with cream, dried fruits, butter, and sugar.
About Our Chef
Cooking for large groups is nothing new for Shaista. Growing up in Afghanistan, she lived with her extended family of almost 30 aunts, uncles, and cousins. Since her grandfather was a leader in the village, they entertained a lot. Almost every other day, they would have guests over for dinner. “Everybody tries to make their food look beautiful and to make their guests happy,” says Shaista. “Guests are considered as friends of God, so everyone tries to make their guests very happy.”
Shaista Amani resettled in Atlanta with her family in February of 2017 from Afghanistan. When she arrived, members of the Oakhurst Baptist Church welcomed her and provided support for her and her family. Not knowing how else to repay their kindness, Shaista took to the kitchen! Every Friday night, she invited her new friends over for a home-cooked Afghani dinner.
Today, Shaista owns her own Afghan catering company, Shaista’s Kitchen.As the Economic Empowerment Coordinator at Refugee Women’s Network, Shaista mentors others in their Chefs’ Club. She lives with her husband and three kids, mother, and mother-in-law in Loganville.