7/20 Afghan meal

The menu for this Wednesday was fatayer (lebanese spinach pie) as a starter, a turkish red lentil soup, aushak (leek dumplings in a lamb sauce), yakhni pulao, sabzir rahwash (spinach and rhubarb), a strawberry fool, and chocolate covered strawberries.

The fatayer is pretty simple to make. You can use frozen puff pastry as a shortcut, the full recipe is here

The red lentil soup is another easy one, the recipe is here. Sub vegetable stock for chicken stock to make a vegetarian version.

The aushak is not terribly difficult but a bit time consuming. It consists of two parts, leek dumplings and a lamb sauce.

for the leek dumplings
1 package wonton wrappers
about 2 lb leeks
1 bunch green onions
1/2 t crushed red pepper
1 t salt
1 t fresh ground black pepper

Dumplings:
Leeks are a bit of a pain to get the dirt out of em, you’ve gotta wash them pretty thoroughly.
Thinly slice the leeks and onions and cook them. You can sprinkle them with water and microwave em for 5 minutes or so, stirring a couple of times or, for a richer taste saute em in a bit of butter over medium low heat until they’re soft but not brown, also 5 minutes or so, maybe a bit longer.
Let them cool and mix in the remaining ingredients
Stuff the wontons with 1/2 T of the filling
boil them for about 5 minutes or so

Lamb Sauce:
1lb Ground Lamb
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T ginger, peeled, grated
1 T cumin seeds
4 Cardamom pods opened
1 t cinnamon
1 T ground coriander
1/2 t cayenne
1 t sumac
1 t kosher salt
1 t black pepper
1/2 t mace or nutmeg
1 cup water
1/2 can diced tomato
2 T tomato paste

saute the onion over medium heat for 5 minutes or then add the ginger and garlic for another minute.
Add the spices and mix them in for about a minute.
Add the lamb and break it up as it browns
After the lamb is browned add 1/2 cup of water, tomato paste, and diced tomato
Cook until most of the liquid is gone.

Lay the dumplings on top of the lamb sauce and top with a drizzle of yogurt and chopped cilantro.

The yakhni pulao is much more difficult. The recipe is here

sabzir rahwash
1 lb spinach
8 oz leeks or green onions
6 oz rhubarb
salt and pepper

wash the spinach well. cut the stems and roughly chop the spinach. thinly slice the leeks. chop the rhubarb into 1 inch lengths.
saute the leeks over medium heat for about 5 minutes, add the spinach and continue to cook until it cooks down a bit and then cover the pan for about 20 minutes.
In a separate pan saute the rhubarb until it’s soft but not brown, about 5 minutes, then add it to the spinach and let it cook until soft, about 30 minutes.

The strawberry fool is pretty easy, the recipe is here

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