Happy or Hungry Eats the World: Bamiyan Kabob (Afghanistan)

If you missed it, I am on a mission to eat authentic food from every country in the world, right here in Toronto! You can find all past recaps here.

Today I am covering Afghanistan!afghanistan

I don’t know if this applies to other cities around the world, but Afghan food is definitely increasing in popularity around Toronto and restaurants have been popping up all over the city.

There is a really cute authentic Afghan restaurant not too far from us on Keele between Finch and Steeles called Bamiyan Kabob. It’s actually a chain and I think there are a total of five locations across the city. Despite being a chain though, it still offers traditional Afghan dishes. The one near us is in a strip mall with your usual Hasty Market and Pita Pit suspects.

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But the inside is quite nice.

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You order from the counter like any fast food joint, but it is definitely a step up from your typical fast food joint, as the food takes a bit longer to prepare. Evan and I have been to Bamiyan Kabob a few times, and it is inexpensive, the portions are large, and the food is fresh and delicious.

As I’ve been eating the world I’ve noticed that the most popular food item I’ve come across is kabobs (and rice). Kabobs seem to be everywhere, and especially in the Middle East. So it is no surprise that the most popular food in Afghanistan is kabobs! (and rice) Each time we’ve gone we’ve done the kabob thing.

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That would be the kofta kabob (lean beef marinated in spices and seasonings), and the tandoori chicken kabob. Both are great. I have also had the chicken breast kabob a couple of times.

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Lamb is probably the most popular kabob, but lamb is not my personal favourite so I haven’t tried it there.

Fresh yogurt, coriander, garlic, onions, and tomatoes are widely available in Afghanistan and are extensively used at Bamiyan Kabob. Rice comes with every kabob dinner and it is seasoned differently than any rice I have ever had. It almost has a cinnamon and nutmeg taste to it. It is interesting and I like it. I like to add the yogurt and  In Afghanistan it’s also common to add rice and carrots to the rice, called palau.

And don’t get me started about the naan. It comes with every meal and it is an amazing addition.

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#allthecarbs

So that is Afghanistan, the quick and dirty version.

Now tell me…

Have you ever tried Afghan food? Is it available where you live?

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2 responses to “Happy or Hungry Eats the World: Bamiyan Kabob (Afghanistan)

  1. This may sound incredibly ignorant, but how does this differ than other middle eastern food. I tried finding an Afgan restaurant near where I live, and all the restaurants are labeled middle eastern. I recognize there are many different countries here, but the food at these places are similar. At least here in the south. I would love to do what you are doing, but alas the south doesn’t provide much outside of “Middle Eastern” and even “African” restaurants, as if they are all the same. (Africa is a freaking continent and they can’t differ between the countries?!)

    • It doesn’t sound ignorant, I totally hear you and I am running into the same thing. A lot of restaurants here are the same, just “African” or “Middle Eastern” or “Chinese”, I’m having to hunt to find country-specific. I think food is just similar in many regions so they kind of group them all together. I already ate at a Middle Eastern restaurant so technically Afghanistan was already covered, but for this challenge I am trying to eat specifically from every country so I feel it would be cheating to go to one restaurant and have every country in the middle east crossed off. Afghanistan and Iraq both are big on kabobs, but they do have different cooking styles and other traditional dishes.

      And don’t get me started on Africa. The only countries I’ve been able to find so far are Ethiopia and Eritrea. It’s like if the food isn’t trendy, forget it.

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